Campaign for final phase of polls ends in UPPTI | Lucknow | Updated: 17-05-2019 20:10 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 18:57 IST
The campaign for the remaining 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, which will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking re-election from Varanasi, ended Friday evening. Polling in the state on Sunday will also decide the fate of 10 other BJP leaders, including Union minister Manoj Sinha, who is seeking re-election from Ghazipur and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan, who is trying to reclaim the saffron party's stronghold of Gorakhpur.
Kishan is in the fray from Gorakhpur with its sitting SP MP Pravin Nishad having already switched over to the BJP, which fielded him from Sant Kabir Nagar in the previous phase. UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey is also seeking re-election from Chandauli in this phase.
The Uttar Pradesh parliamentary constituencies going to polls in this phase are Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon (SC), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj (SC). The final phase of the Lok Sabha polls in the state, which have been spread over all the seven phases of the country-wide elections, will also decide the fate of eight candidates of the Samajwadi Party and five of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
The SP-BSP alliance is being seen as giving a tough fight to the BJP in the state. The electioneering saw Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra holding back-to-back roadshows Friday in Kushinagar and Mirzapur and Union minister Smriti Irani riding a scooter in a two-wheeler rally in Gorakhpur.
Campaigning came to an end at 6 pm. Priyanka Gandhi staged the roadshow in Kushinagar for her party candidate R P N Singh, a Union minister in the previous UPA government, following it up with another roadshow in Mirzapur for party candidate Laliteshpati Tripathi.
Tripathi is seeking to unseat sitting MP and Union Minister Anupriya Patel, the chief of another BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal), which is also contesting the Robertsganj (SC) seat. The party flags of Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party were also seen in Priyanka Gandhi's Mirzapur rally. SBSP is a BJP ally in UP and had won four seats in the 2017 UP assembly elections.
The party's chief Rajbhar is also a UP Cabinet minister but is perceived to be upset with the BJP. In a bid to brighten Ravi Kishan's chances from his stronghold Gorakhpur, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed an election meeting in the city.
Adityanath had vacated the seat to take charge of the state as its chief minister after which it was won by Nishad in a by-election as an SP candidate. In all, there are 167 candidates in the fray for 13 Lok Sabha seats, which will go to polls on May 19. The highest number of 26 candidates in the fray are from Varanasi -- the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Modi. The least number of four candidates are fighting the polls from Bansgaon (SC) Lok Sabha seat.
Over 2.32 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the last phase of this election in Uttar Pradesh. As many as 25,874 polling booths have been set up in 13,979 polling centres in the final phase, the Election Commission said. There are a total of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state out of which the BJP had won 71 seats and its ally Apana dal (Sonelal) two seats in the 2014 polls, leaving two for the Congress and five for the Samajwadi Party. The BSP had won no seat in the last general elections.