Campaigning ends for 7th phase

Campaigning ends for 7th phase

Campaigning for 89 Lok Sabha seats in seven states and two Union territories ended on Monday with just a day to go before the seventh phase of polling.

Altogether, around 14 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise on Wednesday to decide the fate of 1,297 candidates in the third-largest polling exercise in the current Lok Sabha elections.

The constituencies, where campaigning ended on Monday, included the Congress’ first family’s pocket-borough of Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh. 

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is seeking re-election from the constituency.
 Apart from Raebareli, 13 other constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will also go to polls on Wednesday.

Campaigning ended on Monday for all the 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in Gujarat, including Vadodara and Gandhinagar, from where the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and senior leader L K Advani, respectively, are contesting. 

Campaigning ahead of the seventh phase saw the Congress and its principal challenger, the BJP, sharpening attacks against each other. 

While Modi led the BJP’s offensive, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra added to the Congress’ momentum, but only in Raebareli.  

Lucknow and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh are among the high-profile constituencies where campaigning ended on Monday.

BJP president Rajnath Singh is contesting from Lucknow, while senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi is in the fray from Kanpur.

Party veteran Arun Jaitley is contesting from Amritsar in Punjab. Amritsar, along with the 12 other constituencies in the state, will go to polls on Wednesday.

Campaigning also came to an end on Monday for the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in the proposed state of Telangana.

National Conference leader and Union minister Farooq Abdullah is one of the 16 candidates contesting from Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency, which will also go to polls on Wednesday. 

Madhepura and Darbhanga are prominent among Bihar’s seven Lok Sabha constituencies for which campaigning ended on Monday. Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) and Kirti Azad of the BJP are seeking re-election from Madhepura and Darbhanga, respectively.

Campaigning also ended for nine of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal. Music composer Bappi Lahiri, actor George Baker and journalist-turned-politician Chandan Mitra are all contesting the polls on BJP tickets from the Serampore, Howrah and Hooghly constituencies, respectively. 

Lahiri is pitted against the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) sitting MP Kalyan Banerjee. The TMC’s other sitting MPs, Satabdi Roy and Sultan Ahmed, are seeking re-election from Birbhum and Uluberia, respectively.

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