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Campaigning ends in Punjab, Himachal, Chandigarh

IANS  |  Chandigarh/Shimla 

Campaigning ended on Friday for 13 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab, four in and the lone Chandigarh seat, with two Union ministers in the fray and former trying to make it to the

On the last day of campaigning, addressed a public meeting in Solan town in while leader and Union Home was in Hoshiarpur in

Singh said development and curbing corruption were the priorities of the

Gandhi slammed the for its demonetisation decision, saying: "Demonetisation was one of the biggest blows to India's economy but Modi does not realise his mistakes. He is always in his own world and does not listen to well-informed people."

Minister addressed a rally at Lambi village in district where he raised the issue of sacrilege of religious books.

"If the culprits are not put behind bars, I will resign from my ministerial post," he said.

and also campaigned in Punjab, Himachal and Chandigarh while Secretary campaigned aggressively in

In Punjab, all eyes are on two prestigious seats -- and -- that will witness a clash of personalities with the BJP-Akali Dal fielding greenhorns.

While the has fielded Hardeep Singh Puri, 69, in his electoral debut from Amritsar, the Congress has retained its sitting incumbent Gurjit Aujla.

BJP's Sunny Deol, 62, is fighting from Gurdaspur, the seat represented four times by who died in April, 2017, due to

Deol is pitted against Congress state unit Sunil Jakhar, who won the October 2017 by-election with a margin of 1.92 lakh votes.

Interestingly in this battleground, ex-Minister and supremo Parkash Singh Badal's and is locked in a straight contest in the SAD's pocket borough from where she has won thrice.

Her husband and former Minister is in the fray from Ferozepur.

The main contest is between the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance and the Congress.

In neighbouring BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh, all eyes are now on two 'prestige' seats -- Mandi and Hamirpur -- in a battle of supremacy between two BJP leaders, and his two-time predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal, who has been almost marginalised in state after a humiliating defeat in the 2017 Assembly polls.

Dhumal is trying to ensure a four-in-a-row victory for his son Anurag Thakur, former chief of the state and national bodies, from his with a record margin this time.

In Mandi, Thakur's prestige is at stake to retain the seat as incumbent Ram Swaroop Sharma, known for his proximity to the Chief Minister, is facing anti-incumbency.

The main contest is between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress.

Meanwhile, the Union Territory of Chandigarh is all set for a triangular contest.

The BJP has retained its outgoing Kirron Kher, who is banking on Modi's popularity, while the (AAP) has fielded former Harmohan Dhawan, a rebel BJP who had supported Kher in the previous election.

Congress nominee and former Railway Minister is also in the fray from Chandigarh, which has 6.20 lakh voters.

While a 20,781,211-strong electorate would decide the fate of 278 candidates in 13 constituencies in Punjab, in Himachal, 51.59 lakh voters will vote for 45 candidates.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 19:06 IST