Curtains come down on LS campaigning, action shifts to polling in high-stake seats | India News – Times of India

Curtains come down on LS campaigning, action shifts to polling in high-stake seats | India News – Times of India



NEW DELHI: The campaigning for the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections ended on Thursday evening, with parties — from BJP, allies Apna Dal (S), SBSP, Nishad Party, to opposition parties Congress, Samajwadi Party, and firing all cylinders.
Since BJP is contesting polls on Modi factor and his governance, PM remains the pivot not only in Varanasi but also on other 12 seats in UP which will vote on June 1.BJP candidates, too, are relying heavily on the Modi magic for their success.
Varanasi contest holds high stakes for INDIA bloc candidate and UP Congress chief Ajay Rai too. Rai’s influence will be on test as he has been five-time MLA from Kosala and Pindra seats in Kashi. “If Rai manges to reduce the win margin of PM Modi, that would his great success,” said Himanshu Gupta, a Varanasi resident.
Seats in Gorakhpur region, where polling will be held in the final phase, candidates have pinned their hopes on the popularity of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath since he is also the head priest of Gorakshpeeth. BJP ally Nishad Party also faces test among his community which has a sizeable presence in constituencies like Varanasi, Gorakhkpur, Kushinagar, Ballia, Ghazipur.
Another BJP ally, SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, has the dual challenge of ensuring the success of his son Arvind Rajbhar from Ghosi constituency and getting the votes of his community for BJP candidates in other seats — Ghazipur, Varanasi, Ghosi, Ballia.
Apna Dal (S) leader Anupriya Patel’s influence in the region will be tested not only on her seat of Mirzapur or her party’s candidate seat of Robertsganj but also in the region, which has Kurmi vote dominance in seats like Varanasi, Maharajganj, Kushinagar.
Also on test will be SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s caste-calculations. According to analysts, Akhilesh’s caste matrix has left BJP candidates in the region worried. Citing an example, an anlayst said SP has fielded Rajeev Rai in Ghosi and Virendra Singh in Chandauli. Since the SP thinktank is sure of getting Yadav and Muslim votes, addition of votes from other communities will give a tough challenge to the SBSP candidate in the region.
Thirteen Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj will go to the polls on June 1. This phase will also decide the fate of Union ministers Mahendra Nath Pandey, Pankaj Chaudhary and Anupriya Patel.



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