Campaigning for final phase of LS poll ends


Polling will be held on Saturday on 13 seats each in Punjab and UP, nine seats in West Bengal, eight in Bihar, six in Odisha, all four seats in Himachal, three seats in Jharkhand and one seat in Chandigarh…reports Asian Lite News

The election campaign of Lok Sabha polls ended on Thursday with the stage set for the seventh and final phase of polls on Saturday on 57 seats across seven states and a union territory.

The campaign for the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls concluded on Thursday evening. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and leaders of several other parties whose candidates are in the fray campaigned on the last day of the campaign to woo voters.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge held a press conference in the national capital. A total of 904 candidates are in the fray for the voting to be held on June 1.

During the long campaign for seven-phased Lok Sabha polls, Modi held more than 200 campaign events, which included rallies and roadshows, in 75 days. He also gave several interviews.

Congress leaders said Kharge held over 100 rallies, over 20 press conferences and had over 70 interviews and media interactions.

Polling will be held on Saturday on 13 seats each in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, nine seats in West Bengal, eight in Bihar, six in Odisha, all four seats in Himachal Pradesh, three seats in Jharkhand and one seat in Chandigarh.

Polling for the earlier six phases of Lok Sabha elections was held on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20 and May 25.

Assembly polls have also been held in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Odisha is seeing simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and assembly in the last four phases.

The leaders of BJP as also INDIA bloc are claiming victory in the Lok Sabha polls. Votes will be counted on June 4.

If Modi’s last public outreach was replete with political messaging, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi too gave his. In his last public programme, Gandhi addressed a village chaupal meeting in Punjab’s Khatkar Kalan, the birth place of Bhagat Singh on Thursday.

The seventh phase of polling will be held on June 1 covering states like Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, remaining seats in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.

Both leaders leading the campaign for warring alliances—NDA and INDIA bloc—held their grounds during the two months long campaign presenting ideological different streams during the polls. The campaign had turned fractious as both sides attacked each other incessantly.

The 2024 Lok Sabha campaign had started with BJP’s slogan of 400 paar—winning over 400 seats for the alliance. As the campaign progressed, the INDIA bloc’s campaign too picked up as they gave their own version of forming the government giving different figures for the ruling grouping. As the overarching theme was missing in the campaign, winning the numbers of seats itself became the dominant theme as the different phases of polling progressed.

Modi began on a strong footing showcasing his 10 year tenure of “corruption free and terror attacks free” governance focussed on building infrastructure. After the two phases polling showed the dip in voting percentage, Modi increased his attacks on the Congress and the opposition highlighting the latter’s “divisive” agenda favoring the minorities. The prime minister accused the Congress of Muslim appeasement and said if the INDIA bloc was voted to power, it would redistribute wealth to intruders and those producing more children.

The Congress and the INDIA bloc, too, launched scathing attacks on Modi and the BJP, saying they will change the Constitution and end reservation. The opposition based this on the ruling alliance’s claim of needing 400 seats, saying this amount of seats was only needed in case of changing the Constitution. The statements by some of the BJP leaders like Anant Hegde were also cited by the opposition.

The high stake 2024 elections will decide the future trajectory of several national and regional satraps. As the BJP was in direct contest in many of the states with the ruling parties, the results will showcase how most of the chief ministers—Mamata Banarjee, Siddraramiah, Arvind Kejriwal, Naveen Patnaik, Jagan Reddy—fared against the saffron onslaught.

If the BJP goes on to win the elections and form the government, it will be a historic first for any non-Congress leader to hold three terms as the prime minister. Only Jawaharlal Nehru had three terms as PM.

Any upset for the BJP, as the opposition claims, will be billed as people’s anger against the government. Now, all eyes will be on the June 4 results which will shape country’s polity in the years to come.

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