Last phase of LS polls

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With the end of the sixth phase of polls, now the stage is set for the last lap, which is going to take place on May 19. With Sunday’s sixth phase of polling, voters in 483 of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies have voted. The electoral process has been a mirror to both India’s failings and its promise as the world’s biggest democracy. Top political leaders are holding back-to-back rallies for the seventh and final phase of elections. Fifty-nine constituencies, spread over seven states and one Union Territory, will go to polls in this phase on Sunday. This phase will cover 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh; all 13 in Punjab; nine in West Bengal; eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; all four constituencies in Himachal Pradesh; three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Chandigarh. Counting of votes for all the seven phases will be taken up on the 23rd of this month. The voting trend in the first six rounds indicates a fall not only in share of voting percentage of the BJP but also in number of seats which is likely to be limited to around 160 so far, and for NDA the tally may not be more than 194. INC may end up with only 115 seats with a prospect of 156 for UPA. The non-NDA non-UPA regional parties are likely to win 134 out of 484 seats already voted so far. It is in this background the election is being held in the last phase.  In the last phase of polling on May 19, the remaining 59 constituencies will vote. There is no word on when Vellore, where the election was cancelled because of excessive use of money by the candidate of the DMK, will vote.

Among the most hotly contested constituencies in this phase is Varanasi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold on to his bastion when he goes up against Congress candidate Ajay Rai, former Bollywood actor Sunny Deol would be contesting from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab against sitting Congress lawmaker Sunil Jakhar, while Shatrughan Sinha would be contesting from the Patna Sahib constituency against BJP Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Ravi Shankar Prasad is the Minister of Law and Justice of India.  All the eight constituencies going to poll in Bihar in this phase have become a tough battle ground. BJP and Congress are in direct fight with each other in Madhya Pradesh. All the eight seats going to poll in the state are presently held by the BJP. Similarly, all the nine seats going to poll in West Bengal are presently held by Trinamool Congress. All of them are witnessing tough political battle between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party and the BJP.

There is no let-up in the unusual ferocity among political adversaries that has characterised the campaign in the 17th general election, but political parties have already started preparing for the post-poll scenario. Various predictions have indicated that unless 2019 throws up a surprise in favour of the Congress, like 2014 was in favour the BJP, Narendra Modi and his party will continue to call the shots in the country’s diverse political scenario.


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