PM Modi's Varanasi among 13 LS seats going to polls in UP on June 1

Thirteen Lok Sabha seats, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Varanasi, will go to polls in the last and seventh phase of the general elections on Saturday.
PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi

Lucknow| Thirteen Lok Sabha seats, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Varanasi, will go to polls in the last and seventh phase of the general elections on Saturday.

Polling in the state, which sends 80 members to the Lower House of Parliament, was held in all seven phases of the election.

The bypoll for the Duddhi (ST) assembly constituency in Sonbhadra district will also be held on Saturday. Six candidates are contesting from the seat that fell vacant after BJP MLA Ram Dular's disqualification following his conviction in a rape case.

The parliamentary seats where polling will take place are Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon (SC), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj (SC), spread across 11 districts.

Uttar Pradesh is a seeing a direct contest between the BJP-led NDA and the coalition of INDIA bloc members Samajwadi Party and Congress.

Besides Prime Minister Modi, who is a seeking a third term from Varanasi, there are 143 candidates in the fray.

Among the prominent Lok Sabha seats are Varanasi, Gorakhpur, which has been represented by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath five times, Chandauli, Maharajganj and Mirzapur from where Union ministers Mahendra Nath Pandey, Pankaj Chaudhary and Anupriya Patel are contesting, respectively, Ghazipur from where the late Mukhtar Ansari's brother Afzal Ansari is in the fray and Ballia from where former prime minister Chandrashekhar's son Neeraj Shekhar is contesting.

Campaigning for the 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh ended on Thursday evening.

Of the 144 Lok Sabha poll candidates in this phase, 134 are men and 10 women candidates. There are 11 general category and two SC reserved seats.

Prime Minister Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were among the star campaigners for the NDA. The INDIA bloc saw Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav canvassing for candidates of the alliance, with roadshows in Varanasi and Gorakhpur.

While Gandhi contested the polls from Rae Bareli in the fifth phase on May 20, Akhilesh Yadav was fielded by the SP in Kannauj that went to polls in the fourth phase on May 13 and Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri where voting was held in the third phase on May 7.

During campaigning, the BJP alleged that the INDIA bloc would bring in Muslim reservation and put the "Babri lock" on Ayodhya's Ram temple, if voted to power. The opposition alliance urged people not to vote for the BJP to "save" the Constitution and democracy.

BJP's key allies NISHAD Party and Om Prakash Rajbhar's SBSP have candidates in this phase. Ally Apna Dal (Sonelal)'s Anupriya Patel is seeking reelection.

Mayawati's BSP has also fielded candidates, including in Varanasi and Gorakhpur.

State Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa said there are 2,50,56,877 voters in the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the seventh phase, including 1,33,10,897 men, 1,17,44,922 women and 1,058 transgender people.

Polling parties left for their respective centres on Friday, he said. Rinwa said carrying mobile-phone or wireless set inside a polling booth is prohibited on the day of polling, June 1. In view of the heat, adequate quantity of ORS and medical kits will be kept at polling stations along with arrangements for cold water and proper shadem he said.

Voting will be held from 7 am to 6 pm on Saturday

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