Phase V poll: Amid campaign heat, real issues eclipsed - The Tribune India

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Phase V poll

Amid campaign heat, real issues eclipsed

Phase V poll

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



AS voters head to the polling stations today in the fifth phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, they will determine the fate of 695 candidates vying for 49 seats across six states and two union territories, including Ladakh. With this phase, 428 seats would have been covered, leaving 115 for the final two phases. Key candidates in this round include the BJP’s Smriti Irani (Amethi) and Rajnath Singh (Lucknow) and the Congress’ Rahul Gandhi (Raebareli).

The long-drawn-out polls being held amid a heatwave might be causing ennui, but the campaigning has been anything but dull. Political parties have gone all out to capture voters’ attention, often drawing the ire of the Election Commission of India (ECI). Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to clarify his remarks about Muslims, suggesting that the reference to large families pertained to poorer sections of society. Meanwhile, Sam Pitroda of the Congress resigned, following a backlash over his allegedly racist comments. In West Bengal, BJP candidate and retired judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay received a show-cause notice from the ECI for his derogatory comments about CM Mamata Banerjee. The Aam Aadmi Party is in turmoil over allegations levelled by its Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal against Arvind Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar, allowing the BJP to capitalise on the controversy. And then there was Kangana Ranaut.

As a result, several key issues that impact the lives of citizens have been overshadowed. Political rhetoric has increasingly steered clear of a meaningful debate, focusing on personal attacks and inflammatory statements. This trend is eroding the integrity of the democratic engagement, undermining the voters’ capability to make informed decisions.  

#Ladakh #Lok Sabha


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