Stakes high for BJP in final phase

Stakes high for BJP in final phase

Stakes high for BJP in final phase

Stakes are high for the BJP, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi is among seven districts going to the polls on Wednesday in the final phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh.

An estimated 1.41 crore voters will be exercising their franchise to decide the fate of 535 candidates on 40 seats in the Poorvanchal (eastern) region of the state.

Modi himself took charge of campaigning in Varanasi and held three roadshows and five election rallies on three consecutive days.

An army of central ministers and almost the entire top functionaries of the BJP also campaigned in the temple town for several days.

The BJP, which could win only four seats in the region in the 2012 polls, hopes to improve its tally this time.

The Samajwadi Party (SP), which bagged 23 seats last time, also undertook hectic campaigning in the region with its alliance partner the Congress.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his wife and Samajwadi Party star campaigner Dimple, and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressed a series of rallies in the region.

Rahul, Akhilesh and Dimple also held a roadshow in Varanasi to woo the electorate.
Prominent among those whose fate will be decided in Wednesday's polling include state ministers Paras Nath Yadav, Lalai Yadav, Jagadish Sonker, Congress leader Ajai Rai and mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sigbatullah.

The districts where polling will be held on Wednesday include Varanasi, Ghazipur, Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Sonebhadra, Chandauli and Jaunpur.