Lok Sabha election 2024: 8 states and UT gear up for Phase-7; all eyes on Varanasi : The Tribune India

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Lok Sabha election 2024: 8 states and UT gear up for Phase-7; all eyes on Varanasi

Voters in 57 Lok Sabha constituencies, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, UP and Chandigarh, to exercise their franchise on Saturday

Lok Sabha election 2024: 8 states and UT gear up for Phase-7; all eyes on Varanasi

The question in Varanasi is not whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win the seat for the third consecutive time but will he be able to win with a record margin this time.



Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, May 29

The 2024 General Election will culminate with voting for the seventh and final phase on Saturday with voters across 57 Lok Sabha constituencies in 8 states and UT (Chandigarh), exercising their franchise. States going to polls in the last phase include Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand.

As many as 904 candidates, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are in the fray in the seventh phase.

‘Abki baar 10 lakh paar’

The question in Varanasi is not whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win the seat for the third consecutive time but will he be able to win with a record margin this time.

His supporters are claiming ‘abki baar 10 lakh paar’. In other words, they are hoping that he will cross the 10-lakh mark in 2024.

In 2019, the total registered voters in Varanasi were 17,84,093, of which 10,60,829 cast their votes.

On June 1, as many as 19.62 lakh voters will determine the fate of Varanasi, according to reports.

The Prime Minister is contesting from Varanasi for the third time. In 2019, he clocked 6,74,664 votes (63.62 % vote share), 7.25 % more from 2014 when he scored 5,81,022 votes and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, his closest rival, managed 2,09,238 votes.

It is also the third time that Congress’ Ajay Rai is contesting against PM Modi in Varanasi.

Interestingly, Rai, who has his roots in RSS—BJP’s ideological fountainhead—also served as the convener of ABVP.

Other interesting contests

Apart from the contests in Chandigarh and Punjab that will decide the fate of AAP and Congress candidates against BJP, Phase-7 will see an interesting contest between actor Kangana Ranaut (BJP) and Vikramaditya Singh (Congress), son of late CM Virbhadra Singh, in Himachal Pradesh’ Mandi. Mandi is known as the bastion of Virbhadra family and the seat is currently held by Vikramaditya’s mother Pratibha Devi Singh.

Another seat to watch out for in Himachal is Hamirpur where Union Minister Anurag Thakur (BJP) is engaged in a direct fight against Satpal Singh Raizada (Congress). Thakur has been holding the seat since the 2008 by-election.

Meanwhile, in UP’s Gorakhpur — the ‘garh’ of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — actor Ravi Kishan (BJP) is up against Kajal Nishad from the Samajwadi Party (SP). In 2019, Kishan defeated SP candidate Rambhual Nishad with over 60 % vote share.

Another key leader to watch out in this phase is Abhishek Banerjee of TMC in West Bengal’s Diamond Harbour. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew is contesting from TMC stronghold in a three-way fight with CPM’s Pratikur Rahaman and Abhijit Das or Bobby Kumar Das of BJP. In 2019, Banerjee won the seat with 7,91,127 votes.

About The Author

The Tribune Web Desk brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune Wed Desk for not just breaking news stories but wide-ranging coverage of events.

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