Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Campaigning ends for phase 2 in 88 seats

PM Modi also alleged that the Congress is planning to dilute quota for Dalits and tribals and give it to Muslims by referring to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 13:57 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 13:57 IST

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New Delhi: The campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, which witnessed a shrill rhetoric from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who accused the Congress of planning to redistribute wealth to Muslims, for 88 seats spread across 13 states and union territories, including Karnataka, ended on Wednesday.

Initially, 89 seats were to go to polls but voting in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul was shifted to phase 3 on May 7 following the death of BSP candidate Ashok Balawi, days after filing of nominations.

The polling in Manipur’s Outer Manipur seat will also conclude in phase 2 as the remaining voters in 13 Assembly segments will go to vote on Friday. With this, the election will be concluded in 14 states and union territories.

Of the 88 seats going to elections, the BJP has a definite edge with 52 seats in its kitty followed by Congress at a distant second holding 18 seats. JD(U) and Shiv Sena have four seats each while the Muslim League has two and BSP, CPI(M), RSP, Kerala Congress (M) and JD(S) one each.

With the first phase of polling did not attract more voters and the Election Commission pegged the initial figure at 62.34 per cent, all eyes will be on the voting percentage and whether voters brave the heatwave to step out of their homes and reach polling booths.

The highlight of the second phase of the campaign was PM Modi’s speeches, which the Congress and others dubbed as “hate speech”, where he attacked the Congress alleging that they are talking about redistributing wealth to Muslims. The Congress denied that it does not have any such promise in its manifesto.

PM Modi also went on to allege that the Congress is planning to dilute quota for Dalits and tribals and give it to Muslims by referring to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks, which the Congress said was taken out of context.

Congress returned the fire by saying that PM Modi was resorting to hate speech and approached the Election Commission seeking his disqualification.

The major states that are going to polls are Karnataka (14 out of 28), Rajasthan (last 13 seats) and Kerala (all 20 seats).

Congress is expecting to improve its performance in both Karnataka and Rajasthan while completely sweeping all the 20 seats.

The elections in Kerala will be significant for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and especially CPI(M), as the performance in the southern state is important for the party to improve its numbers in the Lok Sabha.

Maharashtra will see eight seats going to polls in phase 2 after five polled on April 19.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP had won seven of the eight seats that are going to polls. Amorha was won by BSP’s Danish Ali, who is fighting on a Congress ticket this time.

Published 24 April 2024, 13:57 IST

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