Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 18
The Congress-led Opposition is hoping to reap a rich harvest in the second phase of polling that concluded today.
Of the 95 Lok Sabha segments that witnessed voting today, bulk segments are being defended by the BJP and its alliance partner in Tamil Nadu — the AIADMK.
While the BJP holds 23 of these 95 constituencies, AIADMK holds 36. Together, the two hold 59 segments. With DMK riding the anti-incumbency wave against AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, Congress is hoping to make massive gains. A recent statement by TTV Dinakaran of the split AIADMK faction about “never allying with communal BJP” has given the grand old party a reason to be confident in a post-election scenario.
In Karnataka, too, the Congress is looking to add seats along with alliance partner JD(S).
Fourteen segments of Karnataka went to polls today. Of the total 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, 15 are currently with the BJP and the rest with Congress and JD(S) independently. Two senior Congress leaders are in the fray in Karnataka — former AICC general secretary BK Hariprasad opposite BJP’s young turk Tejaswi Surva in Bengaluru South and Karnataka Minister Krishan Byre Gowda opposite BJP’s sitting member Sadanand Gowda from Bengaluru North.
West UP is another belt where the Opposition feels it will hold sway in the second phase polling. All eight seats of UP that saw polls today are currently held by BJP members who are facing anti-incumbency.
Equally these seats will test the strength of combined anti-BJP Opposition featuring BSP, SP and RLD in the state. The only seat among West UP’s chunk that went into voting today where the Congress is visibly in contention is Fatehpur Sikri. UP Congress chief Raj Babbar is fighting here against BJP and a grand alliance nominee.
In Tamil Nadu, Congress veteran P Chidambaram’s political legacy is at stake. His son Karti is fighting from Sivaganga for the second time having lost to AIADMK in 2014.
Another segment where Congress sees a ray of hope is Raiganj in West Bengal.
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