UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 13 Lok Sabha Seats, Including PM Modi's Varanasi, Set For Final Phase Of Polls

UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 13 Lok Sabha Seats, Including PM Modi's Varanasi, Set For Final Phase Of Polls

Polling in Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lower House of Parliament, has been spread across all seven phases of the election.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2024, 09:55 PM IST
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UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 13 Lok Sabha Seats, Including PM Modi's Varanasi, Set For Final Phase Of Polls | Representational Image

Varanasi: Thirteen Lok Sabha seats, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency of Varanasi, will go to polls on Saturday in the final and seventh phase of the general elections. Polling in Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lower House of Parliament, has been spread across all seven phases of the election.

UP Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa announced on Friday that a by-election for the Duddhi (ST) assembly constituency in Sonbhadra district will also be held on Saturday. This seat became vacant following the disqualification of BJP MLA Ram Dular, who was convicted in a rape case. Six candidates are contesting for this seat.

Rinwa stated that there are 2,50,56,877 registered voters in the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies participating in this phase, including 1,33,10,897 men, 1,17,44,922 women, and 1,058 transgender individuals. Polling parties were dispatched to their respective centers on Friday.

Voters are reminded that carrying mobile phones or wireless sets inside polling booths is prohibited on June 1. In light of the expected heat, polling stations will be equipped with ORS, medical kits, cold water, and adequate shade. Voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., except in the Roberts Ganj (ST) Lok Sabha constituency’s two assembly segments—Roberts Ganj and Duddhi—where polling will end at 4 p.m.

The Lok Sabha seats up for election include Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon (SC), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, and Robertsganj (SC), spanning 11 districts.

The final phase sees a direct contest between the BJP-led NDA and the opposition coalition INDIA bloc, comprising the Samajwadi Party and Congress. Besides Prime Minister Modi, who is seeking a third term from Varanasi, there are 144 candidates in the fray across these constituencies.

Prominent seats include Gorakhpur, represented five times by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and constituencies of Union ministers Mahendra Nath Pandey (Chandauli), Pankaj Chaudhary (Maharajganj), and Anupriya Patel (Mirzapur). Other notable candidates include Afzal Ansari in Ghazipur, brother of the late Mukhtar Ansari, and Neeraj Shekhar, son of former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, in Ballia.

Campaigning for these seats concluded on Thursday evening. Among the 144 candidates, 134 are men and 10 are women. The seats include 11 general category and two reserved for SC candidates.

High-profile campaigners for the NDA included Prime Minister Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The INDIA bloc featured Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, alongside Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav, with significant rallies in Varanasi and Gorakhpur.

During the campaign, the BJP accused the opposition of intending to introduce Muslim reservations and halt the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya if elected. The INDIA bloc, in turn, urged voters to reject the BJP to "save" the Constitution and democracy.

BJP's allies NISHAD Party and Om Prakash Rajbhar's SBSP are fielding candidates in this phase, along with Apna Dal (Sonelal)'s Anupriya Patel, seeking reelection. The Bahujan Samaj Party, led by Mayawati, has also fielded candidates in key constituencies, including Varanasi and Gorakhpur.

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