Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | All eyes on UP's high-profile seats

The campaign trail also saw Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and BSP chief Mayawati address rallies.
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 05:42 IST
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 05:42 IST

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Lucknow: After an intense seven-phase general election, the stage is set in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh for vote counting on June 4. All eyes are on high-profile candidates like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani as well as opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav.

While the ruling BJP contested the polls with allies Apna Dal (Sonelal), NISHAD party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Om Prakash Rajbhar-led SBSP (Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party), opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc partners Samajwadi Party and the Congress fought together. The Congress is looking to regain lost ground in the state that sends the largest number of members to the Lok Sabha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP chief JP Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held poll rallies and roadshows across several parliamentary constituencies in the state as campaigning picked up.

Similarly, the brother-sister duo of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra extensively campaigned for I.N.D.I.A. bloc candidates. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav also campaigned for the candidates of the opposition grouping. Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed a rally in Rae Bareli.

The campaign trail also saw Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and BSP chief Mayawati address rallies.

According to the state's Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa, the counting of votes will commence at 8 am on Tuesday at 81 counting centres set up in 75 districts of the state.

A total of 851 candidates -- 771 men and 80 women -- were in the fray in the elections in Uttar Pradesh, with the maximum of 28 in the Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency and the minimum of four in Kaiserganj.

Rinwa also said that the state recorded 56.92 per cent voting in the Lok Sabha election this time, two percentage points less than the 2019 turnout.

The results will determine the political fate of Prime Minister Modi, eyeing a hattrick from Varanasi, as well as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who contested from Lucknow for the third consecutive time.

Similarly, the fate of Union ministers Mahendra Nath Pandey, Smriti Irani, Anupriya Patel and a few others will also be decided.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi contested this time from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency, a seat earlier represented by his mother Sonia Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi represented the Amethi constituency thrice from 2004 before losing the seat to the BJP's Smriti Irani in 2019.

He, however, was elected to the outgoing Lok Sabha from Kerala’s Wayanad.

Five members of the Yadav family of the Samajwadi Party contested the Lok Sabha elections this time – SP chief Akhilesh Yadav from Kannauj, sitting MP Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri, Dharmendra Yadav from Azamgarh, Akshaya Yadav from Firozabad and Aditya Yadav from Budaun.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, then-allies Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) achieved success in the Muslim-dominated region of western Uttar Pradesh. However, the political equations have completely changed this time.

The BSP is contesting the elections alone, while RLD, which has some influence in the Jat community of the western part of the state, has joined hands with the BJP.

BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told PTI that his party contested from 75 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while alliance partners Apna Dal (Sonelal) contested from the Mirzapur and Robertsganj (SC) seats, the SBSP from Ghosi and the RLD from Bijnor and Baghpat.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Deepak Ranjan said his party contested on 62 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while the Congress fielded its candidates in 17. One seat was allotted to the I.N.D.I.A. bloc partner Trinamool Congress.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 62 seats and its ally Apna Dal(S) two, brushing aside the challenge of the SP-BSP alliance. The Congress had won the lone Rae Bareli seat of Sonia Gandhi.

The BSP was the biggest gainer in the 2019 alliance with 10 seats. The Samajwadi Party had won five seats but the Rashtriya Lok Dal couldn't open its account.

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Published 03 June 2024, 05:42 IST

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