Lucknow, May 16 : The charged campaigning for the crucial seventh and last phase of polls in 13 Lok Sabha seats of Purwanchal in Uttar Pradesh, covering important seats of Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Ghazipur, Mirzapura and Chandauli, will end on Friday evening.
The epicentre of the campaigning in this phase is Varanasi, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the candidate of the BJP while another one is Gorakhpur, where the stake of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would be decided.
Polling for the last phase would be held on May 19 from 0700 hrs to 1800 hrs except for three assembly segments -- Robertsganj, Dudhi and Chakia of the Robertsganj Lok Sabha seat where the polling will end two hours earlier at 1600 hrs.Along with the 13 Lok Sabha seats, bypolls to Agra(north) assembly seat would be held too on May 19.
The fate of Mr Modi (Varanasi), Union Ministers Manoj Sinha (Ghazipur), and Apna Dal (Sonelal) founder Aunpriya Patel (Mirzapur), UP BJP president Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey (Chandauli), Bhojpuri actor and BJP candidate Ravi Kishan (Gorakhpur) will be decided in this phase.
The BJP and SP-BSP alliance are busy in high-voltage electioneering and leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters. However, heat wave conditions are throwing challenges at the political parties in this phase too.BJP continued its campaigning in a big way in this phase too. PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah along with UP CM Adityanath and several union ministers and senior leaders campaigned in almost all the 13 constituencies.
The Prime Minister, who held an impressive roadshow prior to the filing of his nomination papers on April 26, is expected to reach his parliamentary constituency on Friday before the end of the campaigning. Mr Modi has already released a video appealing to the voters of his constituency to support his candidature.
Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too held a roadshow in Varanasi on Wednesday in support of party candidate Ajay Rai while the SP-BSP alliance would hold a joint meeting of BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday in support of the SP candidate Shalini Yadav.In a last push to attract voters, Prime Minister scheduled is expected to address three rallies and BJP national president Amit Shah five rallies in the state on Thursday.Mr Modi will address rallies in Mau, Chandauli and Mirzapur. He will address that first rally at Mau at 0900 hrs followed by a rally at Chandauli at 1030 hrs and at 1130 hrs at Mirzapur.
He had already addressed rallies at Ballia, Deoria and Ghazipur going to polls in this phase.Mr Shah will address four Vijay sankalp rallies on Thursday in Maharajganj, Salempur, Ballia, Deoria and while hold a roadshow in favour of party candidate Ravi Kishan in Gorakhpur.Mr Adityanath, who is shuttling between Varanasi and Gorakhpur, is also criss crossing the constituencies to address the election meetings along with his colleagues.There are a total of 167 candidates in the fray in this phase. The constituencies going to polls in the seventh phase are: Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Basgaon, Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had won all the seats of this phase. But in the bypolls in Gorakhpur, Samajwadi Party snatched the seat in the bypolls.In the seventh phase of polls, a total of 2.32 crore electorate, including 1.26 crore males and 1.06 crore females are expected to cast their votes in 13,979 booths.In this phase, Varanasi has the highest number of 26 candidates in fray followed by 15 each in Ghosi and Salempur, 14 each in Majarajganj, Kushinagar and Ghazipur, 13 in Chandauli, 12 in Robertsganj, 11 in Deoria, 10 each in Ballia and Gorakhpur, nine in Mirzapur and lowest of 4 in Basgaon.
Twelve candidates are in the fray for Agra (North) assembly bypolls to be held along with the last phase of polls on May 19.Counting of votes for all the 80 Lok Sabha seatS held in 7 phases would be done on May 23. (UNI)