Fourth round of polling on in India (Lead)

May 7th, 2009 - 8:54 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Polling stations opened Thursday morning across eight states for the fourth and penultimate round of elections to the Lok Sabha that are widely expected to produce a hung parliament.
A total of 85 constituencies are to elect MPs from Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Rajastan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

About 95 million people will be eligible to vote Thursday, taking the total number of seats polled since the start of staggered election April 16 to 457.

The Election Commission has set up 129,103 polling centres, to be overseen by 650,000 officials.

Among the heavyweights in the fray in this round are External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and former chief ministers Rajnath Singh (Bharatiya Janata Party), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Mulayam Singh (Samajwadi Party), Lalu Prasad (Rashtriya Janata Dal).

While only Srinagar constituency will see polling in Jammu and Kashmir, balloting will take place for all 25 seats in Rajasthan, all seven seats in Delhi and all 10 in Haryana.

Four of the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Punjab also go to the polls Thursday along with 18 out of 80 in Uttar Pradesh, three out of 40 in Bihar and 17 out of 42 in West Bengal.

The elections will conclude May 13. The votes will be counted across the country May 16.

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