The over 2-month-long election marathon has now reached its last leg. Friday saw campaigning for the 7th phase of polling coming to an end. Although canvassing for votes for the 9 remaining to be polled Lok sabha seats in West Bengal had been curtailed prematurely on Thursday, Sunday will see all 59 seats in the 7th phase go to the hustings. The last day of campaigning saw all political stakeholders making their final push for votes through rallies, roadshows and several other means.
The last day of campaigning saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi wooing voters in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargaon. Congress President Rahul Gandhi holding a rally in Himanchal Pradesh’s Solan for the Shimla lok sabha seat and among the regional powers, even the Mahagathbandhan’s Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav addressed a joint political meet in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur.
Punjab is having a single shot election for all its 13 seats in the final phase with 278 candidates in fray. It’s a 3-way fight between the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal combine, the Congress ruling in the state and the Aam Admi Party.
The 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh that are going to the hustings in the last phase include the PM’s constituency Varanasi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s traditional stronghold Gorakhpur, Ballia, Ghazipur as well as Mirzapur. A total of 167 candidates are fancying their chances here.
In Bihar, 157 candidates are vying for voters’ blessings on 8 Lok Sabha seats..Keen fights have been seen for seats such as Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Patliputra and Arra. It’s the NDA vs the Mahagathbandhan in the state.
8 seats are also going to polls in Madhya Pradesh with 82 candidates in the last phase. It’s mostly a straight fight between the BJP and the Congress in MP. Key seats include Devas, Ujjain, Indore & Ratlam.
The last phase also includes all 4 seats in Himachal Pradesh with 45 candidates fighting it out. 3 remaining seats in Jharkhand are also polling the same day with 42 candidates.
Sunday will also see polling in the union territory of Chandigarh where the BJP’s Kiron Kher is facing off with Congress’s Pawan Kumar Bansal..34 more candidates are also vying for the voters’ blessings in the city beautiful.
VVIP CANDIDATES IN FINAL PHASE
— The field of VVIP candidates in the final phase of elections is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
— Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hardeep Singh Puri, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, R K Singh, Manoj Sinha & Anupirya Patel are also in the fray
— Top names from the BJP include Actors Ravi Kishen and Sunny Deol and U.P BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey
— The Congress has Manish Tewari, Meira Kumar, Pawan Kumar Bansal & Shatrughna Sinha as some of well known contenders
— The Akali Dal also has Sukhbir Singh Badal
— AAP has Bhagwant Mann
— and Trinamool’s Saugata Roy battling it out
The 7th phase also saw frenzied campaigning by all political stakeholders like the previous phases. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah and several other union ministers as well as top leaders were among the pinch hitters for the BJP. The Congress relied on the dynastic draw of party President Rahul Gandhi and his General Secretary sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The Akhilesh-Maya led Mahagathbandhan reached out to voters in Uttar Pradesh through multiple rallies. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also did her own brand of combative campaigning as did the Left. Leaders of JD(U) and RJD also vied for voters’ blessings in Bihar..AAP Arvind Kejriwal was also seen stepping out of the national capital to canvas for his party’s candidates in Punjab.