Punjab: Cancer deaths, drugs
Punjab's has gained notoriety as the cancer capital of India. Pesticide and chemical use in the state's agricultural belt is very high and mostly blamed for high disease incidence. Cancer was a major election issue in Malwa region; and water pollution in Ludhiana and other parts. Spreading drug abuse among youngsters in the state also was in the middle of every political debate in the state.
Odisha: Niyamgiri, POSCO
In the Niyamgiri hill region of Odisha, the Dongria Kondh tribals and forest dwellers who take pride in saving their hills from the clutches of mining and metals giant, Vedanta, are worried that parties would forget them once elections are over. Villages affected by POSCO steel plant and port project in Jagatsinghpur coastal district, came out in hordes to cast their votes on April 17, presumably to register their protest against forcible acquisition of their land. Elsewhere in the state, forest rights was a major concern for voters in places like Malkangiri and Koraput.
Kerala: Western Ghats
The Kasturirangan Committee report on the conservation of Western Ghats and its fallout on people was a major election theme in Idukki constituency. The Kasturirangan Committee identified 13,108 sq km in Kerala as ecologically sensitive zone (ESZ), Kerala government argued that only 9,993.7 sq km area should be kept under ESZ. To woo voters, Congress went the extent of denying ticket to it's sitting MP from Idukki, P T Thomas, because he supported Madhav Gadgil recommendations which identified the entire Western Ghats as ESZ. The state government's recommendation for reducing the sensitive area was accepted by the Union environment ministry in March this year.
Tamil Nadu: Kudankulam Nuclear Plant
Residents of Idinthakarai village in Tamil Nadu, who opposed to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) tooth and nail, decided not to allow any party to campaign in their village. Activist who co-ordinated the people's campaign against KNPP was Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Kanyakumari. India's atomic power plant operator, NPCIL, is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam. After several years of delay, the first 1,000 MW reactor at KNPP and India's 21st reactor began its nuclear fission process in July last year. The project is an issue of concern in many parts of the state.
Maharashtra: Farmer suicides
This election, farmers of Vidarbha were hopeful that the coming elections would at last see some political action on their long-neglected grievances. For the first time, all political parties projected agriculture prominently into their agenda. But their hopes were shattered as most of the leaders avoided the issue of providing remunerative prices to farm produce and ensuring a secure income for farmers, which the farming community has been demanding for years. Of the 361candidates nominated for the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Vidarbha, only one candidate- Wamanrao Chatap from Chandrapur—has his roots in farm activism.
Jharkhand: conflicts with wildlife & Maoists
In a state that boasts of 30 per cent forest cover, human-wildlife conflict was a major election issue in 2014. Of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies, man-elephant conflict was a major issue in at least six-Ranchi, Khunti, Hazaribagh, Chaibasa (Singhbum), Palamu and Dumka. In the dense forests of Saranda, which had been a hotbed of Maoists, people defied Maoist dictat and voted after 15 years. There was large number of panchayats in Manoharpur block around the dense forest.
Uttar Pradesh: Cleaning the Ganga & Benares
Ganga pollution and sewage were top of the agenda for all political parties in the holy city of Benares or Varanasi. The city virtually became an arena for a keenly watched gladiatorial contest between BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, Congress party's Ajay Rai and AAP's Arvind Kejriwal. While Kejriwal was filmed taking a dip in the holy, albeit, polluted rivers, Modi refrained from doing the same, but declared loudly "neither BJP has sent me nor I have come here on my own. I am here because Mother Ganga has called me." But can the question is: will Modi or anyone else really succeed where others have failed?
Uttarakhand: flood disaster & rehabilitation
The extreme rains and floods that struck Uttarakhand last June is still an emotive issue for the people of the state. It is speculated that the post-calamity development and rehabilitation or lack of it may decide the fate of the candidates in the state. BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during his election campaign criticised the Congress chief minister of the state, Harish Rawat, for not taking a proactive role immediately after the disaster when he was Union minister. Rawat refuted the allegations and said the disaster would not affect Congress' poll prospects. Final results from the state will make things clear.