Indian bollywood actress and Congress Party candidate Urmila Matondkar arrives to filing of her nomination for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai, India on 08 April 2019.
Nine states go to the polls Monday, as India’s fourth election phase gets underway, including the financial capital of the country, Mumbai.
More than 70 constituencies are in play in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Bihar.
The largest share of the vote will come from Rajasthan, where 13 constituencies are casting their votes.
The state could prove to be something of a bellwether, with the opposition Congress Party hoping to capitalize on its success during the 2018 state elections.
Rajasthan was one of several key states ceded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the closely contested battle.
Uttar Pradesh could prove difficult for the BJP too. The region is home to India’s “leather belt” — an industrial cluster of tanneries that taken together, provides direct and indirect employment to hundreds of thousands of local people.
Many of those tanneries have been forced to suspend operations due to pollution control measures issued by the BJP-led state government, causing consternation among workers.
The mostly closed watched city will undoubtedly be Mumbai, where former actress Urmila Matondkar is going head-to-head with BJP heavyweight and local incumbent Gopal Shetty.
The entry of Matondkar, star of 90s Bollywood hits “Rangeela” and “Judaai,” has transformed the contest and turned the Mumbai North seat into one of the most closely-watched constituencies in this year’s national election.
In West Bengal, police will be hoping the fourth phase passes without incident. The state has encountered sporadic violence between supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party and the BJP in recent weeks, as the BJP look to upend the regional status quo.
Three more phases are due in the coming weeks with the next phase scheduled for May 6.