POST TIME: 19 May, 2019 11:10:04 AM
Who rules? India has last word today
Independent Online/ Times Of India

Who rules? India has last word today

Photo: Business Today

A high-stakes battle between NDA and the opposition in 59 seats will mark the seventh and last phase in the Lok Sabha elections.

BJP faces a tough contest in its fort of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Mamata Banerjee is making a last-ditch effort to stave off the challenge from the saffron party in a phase prefaced by violence.

All eyes are on the 13 seats of east UP where PM Modi, contesting from Varanasi, is expected to power BJP but where the saffron outfit is up against a test from the SP-BSP alliance. While caste arithmetic makes it tough for BJP, Congress could also end up playing spoiler through upper caste candidates who might eat into BJP votes to the grand alliance’s benefit.

BJP here is banking heavily on the “Modi factor” to cut into rival vote banks.UP is the most critical turf for BJP given that its alliance won 73 of 80 seats in 2014. 

Sunday would also mark the end of the battle in West Bengal where Trinamool Congress is facing BJP, with traditional rivals Left and Congress being forced to the sidelines. Nine seats voting on Sunday form part of the TMC stronghold where Mamata is the mascot but where BJP has invested a lot of firepower. 

The final phase also holds out hope for Congress. Punjab is ruled by the party and it is seeking to dent the Akali Dal-BJP combine and AAP who won 10 seats in 2014. Having wrested MP from BJP five months ago, Congress is optimistic about the last eight of the state’s 29 seats.

Crucial bypolls in TN, Goa & Bengal 

High-stake bypolls in four assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, adding to the 18 in earlier phases, will decide the future of the two-year-old AIADMK government. In Goa, the lone bypoll is in Panaji, which was represented by late CM Manohar Parrikar. In Bengal, bypolls will be held in five seats where MLAs resigned to contest LS polls and in the crucial Darjeeling assembly seat. The other bypolls are in Agra North, Chincholi and Kundgol in Karnataka and Dehri in Bihar.