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Campaigning for fifth phase ends
9 seats from Punjab among 86 in last lap
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
Campaigning for the fifth and last phase of the ongoing general election ended today, and with it culminated a high-pitched and bitter electioneering between the two major political groups, the UPA and the NDA, led by Congress and BJP, respectively.

A total of 86 constituencies in eight states and one union territory would go to the polls on May 13. In this phase, polling would take place on nine seats in Punjab, four in Himachal Pradesh, 14 in western UP, 11 in West Bengal, 39 in Tamil Nadu, two in Jammu and Kashmir, five in Uttarakhand and one each in Puducherry and Chandigarh.

Among the prominent Congress leaders in the fray in this round are Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal, former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Mani Shankar Aiyer, Mohd Azharuddin and former Minister of State for External Affairs Saleem Sherwani. From the BJP, Maneka Gandhi, Varun Gandhi, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Anurag Thakur (the son of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister PK Dhumal), Vinod Khanna, cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu and ace shooter Jaspal Rana are among the main contenders.

In Tamil Nadu, DMK supermo M Karunanidhi’s son MK Azhagiri is contesting for the first time. Other main contenders include Dayanidhi Maran, TR Baalu and A Raja, MDMK’s Vaiko, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party’s Jaya Prada, don-turned-politician DP Yadav of the BSP, Sajjad Gani Lone and Tamil actor M Karthik.

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