Voting for 58 seats on May 25; 28 States, Union Territories to complete polling with Phase 6

The sixth phase will see 889 candidates trying their luck

Updated - May 24, 2024 02:40 am IST

Published - May 23, 2024 09:18 pm IST - New Delhi:

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated with a mace during a public meeting supporting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh seat Dharambir Singh for the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, in Bhiwani-Mahendragarh on May 25, 2024. Photo: BJP via ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated with a mace during a public meeting supporting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh seat Dharambir Singh for the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, in Bhiwani-Mahendragarh on May 25, 2024. Photo: BJP via ANI

Campaigning ended on Thursday for the penultimate phase of the general elections to be held on May 25, with both the BJP and the INDIA bloc moving the pitch to post-poll arithmetic.

At a rally in Mahendragarh in Haryana, where all 10 seats will vote on May 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that the INDIA bloc was talking about having five Prime Ministers over the next five years and the fight over “ghee” (clarified butter) had broken out in the alliance, even before the cow had given milk.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that the INDIA bloc would stop the BJP from coming back to power and get the required numbers to form the government.

The sixth phase will see 889 candidates trying their luck from 58 seats. With this phase, the polling process in 28 States and union territories will be completed.

Star campaigners of all parties also descended on the national capital, which will see all of its seven Lok Sabha seats voting on May 25. The BJP had won all the seats in Delhi in 2019.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on May 21 that the BJP was set to lose power on June 4, when results for the Lok Sabha elections would be announced.

He rephrased Mr. Modi’s “Achhe din aane wale hain” pitch by adding his own spin — “Modiji jaane wale hain” — to it.

Campaigning on the streets of the national capital, he said an INDIA bloc government was set to be formed at the Centre following which the capital would get full statehood.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was, however, targeted repeatedly over the incident of alleged assault of its Rajya Sabha member Swati Maliwal.

On Thursday, Mr. Kejriwal claimed that the Prime Minister was trying to harass his old and sick parents by questioning them in the Maliwal case. The allegation followed the Delhi police’s scheduled interrogation of Mr. Kejriwal’s parents which was, however, postponed.

Sonia’s appeal

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a video message, appealed to people of Delhi to make candidates of INDIA bloc victorious in all seven seats.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi campaigned for his party candidates and alliance partner AAP in the capital. On Thursday, he took a Metro ride and addressed rallies in support of the Congress candidate from northeast Delhi, Kanhaiya Kumar.

 West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee with party candidates Saugata Roy and Sayantika Banerjee during a road show for Assembly bypolls, in Kolkata, Thursday, May 23, 2024.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee with party candidates Saugata Roy and Sayantika Banerjee during a road show for Assembly bypolls, in Kolkata, Thursday, May 23, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

At a rally in Chandigarh on May 21, Mr. Gandhi said the system was heavily aligned against the lower castes. He said 90% population of the country, including Dalits, OBCs, tribal communities and minorities did not have representation in the power structure.

In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, speaking at a rally in Khardah on May 22, said she would not accept the Calcutta High Court order scrapping the OBC status of several classes in the State. She hinted that the government could challenge the order in the Supreme Court.

A total of eight seats in the State will vote in the sixth phase in which about 1.45 crore voters are eligible to cast their franchise.

The Election Commission has deployed 919 companies of security personnel. The commission has also engaged forest rangers and hula parties for Jangalmahal district where elephant attacks are common.

The Regional Meteorological Centre has sounded orange alert for coastal districts on polling day.

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