Election 2019: 'Oppn vs BJP' Battle Set to Take Centrestage as High Voltage Campaigning Ends for Phase One
With the end of campaigning for the first phase, all eyes are now on how people decide to vote this season. While all parties seem to be united in fight against BJP, the saffron party has been warning people against 'adulterated' alliance.
Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi with Mayawati, Sitaram Yechury, Ajit Singh and others in Bengaluru. (File photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The high voltage campaign for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections came to an end at 5 pm on Tuesday. From PM Modi to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the parties left no stone unturned to attack the rivals and highlight their achievements.
While PM Modi appealed the first-time voters to vote for the men who conducted the Balakot airstrike, Congress president Rahul Gandhi focused on states and said that the party's Nyay yojna will help in development of individual states and soon there would be "Made in Bihar, Made in Rajasthan and Made in UP".
The two major national parties had last week unveiled their manifesto with the Congress focusing on its "revolutionary" income guarantee Nyuntam Aay Yojana and BJP highlighting the issue of Article 370 and Ram Mandir in its 'Sankalp Patra'.
Uttar Pradesh, which sends the largest number of 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha, has remained the focus of the parties. The three regional giants of the state — Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal — that were at loggerheads earlier, have united in 2019 to dethrone the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Congress also brought in Gandhi's sister Priyanka into the UP political arena. Priyanka, who till now was seen accompanying her mother Sonia and her brother for campaigning, was made the eastern UP in-charge of the party. The leader created a buzz with her 'Ganga sojourn' and other "well-chalked out" trips as she reached out to various crucial castes of the state.
Besides the key parties, several individuals and other outfits have also turned up this election to challenge the PM. Among them, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad 'Ravan' and ex-BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav were seen hogging the maximum limelight.
In the southern region, special status to Andhra Pradesh became the main poll plank for the parties. Even Chandrababu Naidu's rival and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar announced support for the cause. Another key development this year was BSP chief Mayawati backing Jana Sena founder Pawan Kalyan. YSRCP chief Jaganmohan Reddy also "forgave" Congress this time and is eyeing to be the "kingmaker" in the state.
In east, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik's health kept the political circles busy with BJP chief Amit Shah asking people to give a chance to his party this time and let "Naveen babu" rest. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, hit out at the BJP over NRC and Citizenship Bill. She had also held a major Opposition Unity rally in Kolkata, which was attended by all the top leaders. Bihar saw a bitter battle between RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's two sons and parties switching alliances.
With the end of campaigning for the first phase, all eyes are now on how people decide to vote this season. While all parties seem to have united in fight against "one-man party" of BJP, the saffron party has been warning people against "mahamilawat" (adulteration of parties) which has "40 PM faces".
Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Telangana will have voting for all its constituencies on 11 April. The other states of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will have voting for a few of their constituencies in the first phase of voting.
In the first phase, 91 out of 543 Lok Sabha constituencies are going to poll fray. The date of counting of votes for all these seats is on 23 May.
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