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Campaigning ends for last phase of LS polls

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Campaigning for the last phase of the staggered Lok Sabha elections spread over more than a month drew to a close Friday as top leaders sought to muster a final show of strength in the contest for 59 seats with among those in the fray.

Polling will be held on Sunday in the seventh phase in all 13 seats in Punjab, as many seats in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in and Madhya Pradesh, four in Himachal Pradesh, three in and the lone seat Chandigarh.

Electioneering also drew to a close for the bypoll in Panaji, necessitated due to the death of former in March.

In a first, campaigning in came to an end 20 hours before the scheduled time on the orders of the

The poll body had Wednesday ordered campaigning in constituencies to end at 10 pm on Thursday in the wake of violence between the BJP and the TMC in Kolkata during Amit Shah's roadshow.

The campaign was marked by attacks and counter-attacks by leaders across the political spectrum and the use of derogatory language and objectionable remarks forced the to step in.

Adequate security arrangements have been made to conduct free, fair and peaceful elections, officials said.

BJP held a press conference in highlighting the government's work. Though was by his side and made some opening remarks, he did not take any questions.

also addressed a press conference in which he hit at the BJP and the government of the state of affairs in the country.

In Punjab, the high-octane poll campaigning witnessed blistering attacks by the Congress, the SAD-BJP and with 1984 anti-Sikh riots and desecration of religious scriptures remaining the central theme of the political narrative.

The polling will decide the fate of chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, and Aam Aadmi Party's and also of two union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri.

Sunny Deol, making his maiden electoral debut from Gurdaspur, and several other political heavyweights including ministers and nominees (Anandpur Sahib) and (Patiala) are also in the fray.

The dust and din of campaigning also settled Friday for the lone Chandigark Lok Sabha seat which is witnessing three a cornered contest among BJP, Congress and

Sitting and BJP candidate is seeking a re-election with her main rivals being former (Cong) and AAP's Harmohan Dhawan.

In Uttar Pradesh, Modi is seeking re-election from The seventh phase of the polls will also decide the fate of 10 other BJP leaders, including Manoj Sinha, who is seeking reelection from Ghazipur, and Ravi Kishan, who is trying to reclaim the saffron party's

The polls will also decide the fate of eight candidates of and five of of the SP-BSP alliance, which is being perceived as giving a tough fight to the BJP in the state.

The electioneering saw Priyanka holding two back-to-back roadshows in Kushinagar and Mirzapur during the day and riding a scooty in Gorkahpur.

Eight Lok Sabha seats in and three in will witness elections on Sunday.

The constituencies which go to polls in on Sunday are Patna Sahib, Pataliputra, Arrah, Buxar, Sasaram, Karakat, Jehanabad and Nalanda. Seven of these were won by the NDA in 2014.

In Jharkhand, a total of 15 candidates are in the fray from Dumka, 14 candidates from Rajmahal and 13 candidates from Godda. In Dumka, eight-time and Mukti Morcha (JMM) is being challenged by BJP's

The JMM and the Congress are part of the "Mahagathbandhan" (grand alliance) in Jharkhand.

Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, and seats in Madhya Pradesh, all currently held by the BJP, will also go to polls on May 19. ministers Kantilal Bhuria, are in the fray from and Khandwa, the latter seeing a tough fight between Yadav and ex-

At the centre of the campaigning has been the Congress-led government's farm loan waiver scheme, which has been debunked by the opposition BJP in the state.

Even Prime Minister Modi had raised the issue at his rallies and said the in MP was sending police and recovery notices to farmers rather than writing off their loans.

Congress chief Gandhi had hit back by claiming the loan waiver had benefited several lakh farmers and even showed papers at rallies to prove that loans of ex-Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother and nephew had been written off.

Campaigning also ended Friday evening for elections to all four Lok Sabha constituencies in As many as 45 candidates, including five legislators, are in the fray.

Prime Minister Modi had addressed two rallies on May 10 and 13, whereas Shah held three rallies on May 12. campaigned in the state even on the last day of electioneering and addressed a rally in Solan on Friday.

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

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 18:36 IST