Battle royale for Varanasi today
Over nine crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 606 candidates, including BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal (both contesting from Varanasi) and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (fighting from Azamgarh) during the last phase of polling.
The one-month-long poll campaign, which had begun on 7 April finally ended on Saturday with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi taking the battle to Modi’s turf in Varanasi. While other top leaders including Modi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav addressing last minute meetings in other constituencies.
Declaration of result after counting of votes in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will take place on 16 May. An average of 66 per cent voters cast their franchise in the last eight phases. The whole elections were spread over 35 days.
Of the 41 seats, Uttar Pradesh will witness polling in 18 seats. Of these, ruling SP has six seats, followed by Bahujan Samaj Party- 5, BJP- 4 and Congress 3. West Bengal has 17 seats in which polling will be held. Of these, the ruling Trinamool Congress has 14 seats, while Congress, CPI and Independent have one each.
In neighbouring Bihar, six seats will go to polls, of them, BJP and JD(U) have two each, while RJD and Independent have one each. In UP, also senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra and Yogi Aditya Nath’s fate will be decided on Monday. Prominent candidates who are in fray from Bihar include union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Raghunath Jha, film maker Prakash Jha and Mohamaaed Sahabuddin’s wife Hena Sahab.
Seventeen seats in West Bengal will witness the electoral fight of big wigs like TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay in Kolkata North, Dinesh Trivedi in Barrackpore and Sougata Roy in Dum Dum. Trinamool Yuva President Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Mamata Banerjee, is also a candidate to watch out. CPI-M’s Subhasini Ali is fighting from the Barrackpore seat. BJP’s candidate magician P C Sorcar (Junior) is contesting from Barasat while WBPCC President Adhir Chowdhury is fighting from Berhampore.