Two union territories on India’s west coast – Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli – will Wednesday elect their lone representatives to the Lok Sabha. The parliamentary constituency of Daman and Diu, where more than half of the electorate are women, has four candidates in the fray.
Daman was a Portuguese enclave for four and a half centuries till the end of colonial rule in 1961. A small port in the Gulf of Khambhat, it is divided by the Damanganga river into Nani Daman (or Little Daman) in the north and Moti Daman (or Big Daman) in the south. Diu, an island spread over 38.8 square km, is located near the Arabian Sea coast. It was a Portuguese colony until 1961 and an important post and naval base from where the rulers controlled the shipping routes in the Arabian Sea in the 14-16th centuries.
Spread over 491 square km and landlocked between Gujarat and Maharashtra, Dadra and Nagar Haveli has a 62 percent tribal population.
Polling will be held at 119 polling stations April 30. A total of 1,02,260 voters – of whom 51.71 percent are women – are eligible to exercise their democratic right.
In the 2009 general election, Lalubhai Patel of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won from the seat.
Patel, who is re-contesting, faces Ketan Dahyabhai Patel of the Congress, Bhavesh Patel of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Kessur Goan of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Dadra and Nagar Haveli will also vote April 30.
A total of 1,88,783 voters, of whom 46.36 percent are women, will elect their representative from 11 candidates.
Natubhai Gomanbhai Patel, sitting MP and BJP candidate, faces Delkar Mohanbhai Sanjibhai of the Congress, Khulat Janiyabhai Chandubhai of the Nationalist Congress Party and Chhotubhai Babubhai Patel of the AAP.
Polling will be held at 163 polling stations. (ians)