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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Phase 4 campaigning ends on chaotic note as 96 seats prepare to go to polls on May 13

Prominent candidates in phase 4 include Akhilesh Yadav (Kannauj), Omar Abdullah (Srinagar), Giriraj Singh (Begusarai), Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Baharampur), Mahua Moitra (Krishnanagar), Shatrughnan Sinha (Asansol), Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad) and YS Sharmila (Kadappa).
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 12:52 IST
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 12:52 IST

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New Delhi: The campaign for the Phase 4 of Lok Sabha elections, which will see 1,717 candidates trying their luck in 96 seats across ten states and union territories, ended on Saturday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi continuing his campaign with communal overtones and motormouth leaders leaving Congress in soup.

All seats in Andhra Pradesh (25) and Telangana (17) will go to polls on Monday besides constituencies in Uttar Pradesh (13), Maharashtra (11), Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal (8 each), Bihar (5), Odisha and Jharkhand (4 each) and Jammu and Kashmir (1).

With the end of phase 4, polling processes in 23 states and union territories will be completed. Altogether polling will be over in 381 seats. The Assembly polls to Andhra Pradesh will also be held on Monday.

Prominent candidates in phase 4 include Akhilesh Yadav (Kannauj), Omar Abdullah (Srinagar), Giriraj Singh (Begusarai), Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Baharampur), Mahua Moitra (Krishnanagar), Shatrughnan Sinha (Asansol), Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad) and YS Sharmila (Kadappa).

Of the 96 seats going to polls on Monday, BJP had won 42 of them in 2019 while YSR Congress had won 22 seats (in Andhra Pradesh), BRS 9 (Telangana), Congress 6, Trinamool Congress 4, TDP 3, BJD, AIMIM and Shiv Sena 2 each and NCP, LJP, JD(U) and NC one each.

The run up to the Phase 4 polling also saw the Election Commission and Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc entering into a spat over delay in release of voter turnout data with the former responding to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in strong words saying people will hold the doubts raised by him on the electoral process with “contempt”.

Kharge hit back saying it was “puzzling” that the EC was not acting on “communal and casteist” statements by the ruling BJP party.

While the EC had issued notices to BJP on complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “hate speech” and Congress on remarks by Kharge and Rahul during phase 3, the poll body is yet to provide its views on the issue. There is also no clarity on whether the party chiefs have responded yet.

During the campaign for phase 4, the BJP and the Congress continued to be on attack mode with the Prime Minister being accused of resorting to communal rhetoric. The BJP also used a report by the Economic Advisory Committee of Prime Minister on population which spoke about decreasing share of Hindu population and rising Muslim share to target Congress alleging that it would use it to give quota for the minority community.

On Friday, the BJP received a setback as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal got interim bail and he is set to go on an intensive campaign drive. This is the second setback for the ruling party in three months from the Supreme Court — the first being the scrapping of the electoral bonds.

Congress landed in trouble with its motormouth leaders — Sam Pitroda’s “racist” remarks led to his resignation as the Indian Overseas Congress chief while Mani Shankar Aiyar troubled the party with his remarks on Pakistan made a few months ago.

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Published 11 May 2024, 12:52 IST

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