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Campaigning for phase 2 of Lok Sabha polls ends

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Campaigning ended Tuesday for the second phase of polls on April 18 for 96 seats spread across 12 states and the union territory of that was marked by acrimony with the barring several leaders from electioneering for their controversial remarks.

Polling will be held in 38 seats in Tamil Nadu, 14 seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, and Odisha, three each in and West Bengal, two in and one seat each in Manipura, and

Elections will also be held in 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha.

Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and a host of Union ministers among others canvassed for their party candidates in the past few days, undertaking whirlwind tours of constituencies.

Among the key contestants in the fray are Union ministers Jual Oram, and Pon Radhakrishnan, former H D Deve Gowda, leaders and Raj Babbar, National Conference Farooq Abdullah, BJP's and DMK's Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi.

After the Monday barred Chief Yogi Adityanath, Maneka Gandhi, and from campaigning for varying periods over violations of the moral code of conduct, the leaders stayed away from the campaign but marked their presence in other ways.

Mayawati's nephew delivered his first political speech in Nagina, where she was initially scheduled to address a joint opposition alliance meeting. Khan's son Abdullah addressed a press conference in Rampur, criticising the EC order while Adityanath prayed at a Hanuman temple in Lucknow, a day after the EC issued the order frowning at his 'Ali-Bajrang Bali' remark.

In Odisha, besides the five seats, polling will also be held for 35 assembly constituencies. is contesting from his home turf Hinjili in district and Bijepur in Bargarh. While there are five women candidates in the seats, 25 women are in the fray for the assembly segments.

In Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK, contesting as part of the NDA. The alliance comprises among others BJP, PMK, DMDK and Tamil Maanila of former G K Vasan.

The DMK has formed a "Secular Progressive Alliance" comprising the Congress and Left parties, among others.

The electoral battle in the state is largely among the two fronts led by the Dravidian majors and the AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran, an AIADMK rival, though parties such as the fledgling Makkal Needhi Maiam of are also testing their fortunes.

Lok Sabha elections in are the first ever after the demise of Dravidian stalwarts J Jayalalithaa of AIADMK and M Karunanidhi of the DMK.

Allegations of use of money flew thick and fast in the run up to the polls with poll authorities seizing over Rs 127 crore cash and gold and other precious metals with a total value of Rs 284 crore in various parts of the state.

The EC in an order Tuesday evening cancelled the poll in Vellore Lok Sabha constituency over allegations of excess use of money power. Authorities had seized over Rs 10 crore cash from a premises of an associate of a recently.

The district police had filed a complaint against DMK candidate as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.

It was a relatively low key campaign in with only Farooq Abdullah, who is seeking a fourth term in the lower house of Parliament from the seat, making his presence felt as a candidate.

Abdullah is pitched against political greenhorns of the PDP, of the People's Conference and of the BJP.

An said there were only 46 rallies in district, a city of over 12 lakh residents, during the campaign period.

The Lok Sabha polls are being held in seven-phases for 543 seats on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19, and counting will be on May 23.

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

First Published: Tue, April 16 2019. 19:45 IST