Campaigning for the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha polls ended on Friday evening. Fifty-nine constituencies, spread over seven states and one union territory, will go to polls in this phase on Sunday.
The seventh and final 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 will take place on the 23rd of this month.
Star campaigners of various political parties made their last-ditch effort to woo the voters on the last day of electioneering. BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned in Madhya Pradesh.
Addressing a public meeting in Khargone, he reiterated his commitment to provide regular monthly pension to farmers, small shopkeepers, farm labourers and people above 60 years of age.
He said that monetary assistance will be given to all the farmers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Scheme if the BJP returns to power. The Prime Minister said, his government is working towards the goal of doubling the income of farmers by 2022. He added that till the BJP is in power, nobody can touch the land of those living in forests.
In the seventh phase, in Madhya Pradesh, 8 Lok Sabha seats in the Malwa Nimar region will be held in Indore, Ujjain, Dhar, Ratlam, Mandsaur, Dewas, Kharguna and Khandwa. About 1.5 crore voters will decide the fate of 82 candidates on these seats.
More than 13 thousand polling stations have been set up for voting. The main candidates of this phase include former Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria and Arun Yadav, former BJP President Nand Kumar Chauhan and Meenakshi Natarajan.
In Himachal Pradesh, addressing a public rally in Solan, Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked the Prime Minister on the issues of demonetisation and Goods and Sevices Tax (GST) and said that the small and medium scale industrialists, traders and unemployed youth were adversely affected by these policies. Gandhi reiterated his allegations of Rafale deal being overpriced. He challenged the Prime Minister to engage in a debate with him on the issue of corruption.
The Congress president also spoke in detail about how he would implement NYAY scheme as promised in the Congress manifesto if it is voted to power.
In a bid to ensure fair, free and transparent polls in Himachal Pradesh, as many as 7730 polling parties have been deployed across four Parliamentary constituencies which is going to polls on this Sunday.
AIR correspondent reports that polling parties for remote areas of the state have been dispatched in advance to set up polling booths. Besides, 136 women polling parties would be deployed tomorrow for specially setup women polling booths of the state.
As many as 46000 poll personnel have been deputed on election duty in the state. Five hundred sixty-four polling staff including police and central reserve force has been deployed in tribal district Lahol Sphitee were the world highest polling station Tashigang is located.
In Uttar Pradesh, political leaders made last ditched effort to woo the voters on last day of campaigning end for the seventh phase of the election.
AIR Correspondent reports that BJP leaders and Union Ministers Colonel Rajyavardhan Sing Rathore and Piyush Goel held public meetings and did door to door campaign in Varanasi. Senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Yogi Adityanath, Dinesh Sharma, JP Nadda held rallies and party workers meeting in different areas.
BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani held a bike rally in Gorakhpur in favour of party candidate and Bhojpuri film star Ravi Kishan Shukla. Congress general secretary and in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandi Vadra led a road show in Mirzapur and Padrauna today. Joint rallies of SP-BSP-RLD alliance were held in Mirzapur and Chandauli in which Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Ajit Singh were also present.
Candidates and their supporters are engaging in inter-personal canvassing now. The high voltage electoral battle in the poorvanchal area of Uttar Pradesh is crucial for NDA who bagged all 13 seats last time but lost Gorakhpur in by-elections. All eyes are on Varanasi where PM Narendra Modi is contesting but along with him, political future of BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey, BSP state president RS Kushwaha, Union Ministers Manoj Sinha, Anupriya Patel, former minister RPN singh and film star Ravi kishan Shukla will be decided in this phase.
SP-BSP-RLD alliance held a joint rally in Mirzapur today. BSP chief Mayawati said that both the BJP and Congress have made false promises. Speaking at the rally, she said that poor and downtrodden are feeling oppressed in BJP rule. The alliance also held a public meeting at Chandauli later in the day.
In Punjab and Chandigarh, senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today addressed an election rally at Hoshiarpur, where he said that development and curbing corruption were priorities of Modi Government. Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu addressed a rally at Lambi village.
(Source: All India Radio)