In this phase, all the seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi, all 10 of Haryana and 10 constituencies of West Uttar Pradesh are going to polls.

Hectic politicking was witnessed all across the National Capital Region as campaigning for the second phase of the general election drew to a close on Tuesday evening. In this phase, all the seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi, all 10 of Haryana and 10 constituencies of West Uttar Pradesh are going to polls.

In Delhi, the contest this time has been queered by the entry of the new player, the Aam Aadmi Party, which has made deep inroads into the traditional vote banks of both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. It had won 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly in the December 2013 polls and is again giving a tough fight to both the traditional rivals.

While the Congress is hoping to somehow repeat its magic of 2009 when it won all the seven seats by comprehensive margins, the BJP is depending on the “Modi wave” to pull it through. The AAP is hoping that its anti-corruption plank, as symbolised by its “broom”, would again be able to win it seats.

All the constituencies in Haryana are going to the polls on Thursday, with the State all set to witness a contest between the BJP, the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal and the AAP. The Haryana Janhit Congress is this time contesting the elections on two seats in alliance with the BJP. A key contest on the cards here is in Gurgaon wheren AAP leader Yogendra Yadav has locked horns with sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh, who left the Congress to fight on a BJP ticket. They are pitted against Rao Dharampal of the Congress and Zakir Hussain of the INLD.

During the campaigning, the opposition parties targeted the incumbent Bhupinder Hooda-led State Government for alleged land scams. The INLD and the AAP have fielded their candidates in all the 10 seats.

Campaigning also came to an end in the 10 parliamentary constituencies of U.P. where elections would be held in the third phase on Thursday.

One of the most interesting contests here is in Ghaziabad, where General (retd.) V.K. Singh is fighting on the BJP ticket and trying to retain party president Rajnath Singh’s constituency. Challenging him are film star-turned-politician Raj Babbar of the Congress and Shazia Ilmi of the AAP.

Others in the fray include Mukul Upadhyay of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Sudhan Kumar of the Samajwadi Party.

In Gautam Budh Nagar – which covers Noida and Greater Noida – the BJP has again fielded Dr. Mahesh Kumar Sharma and he is up against Satish Awana of the BSP, K.P. Singh of the AAP and Narender Singh Bhati of the SP. Here the Congress candidate, Ramesh Chand Tomar, recently joined the BJP.

A large part of these constituencies were badly affected following the Muzaffarnagar communal riots last August, which claimed several lives and led to displacement of over 50,000 people.