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Campaigning ends for third phase of LS elections

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NEW DELHI, May 5: The high-octane campaign for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections that saw the BJP-led NDA and the INDIA bloc fiercely attacking each other on issues like reservations and sexual harassment charges against JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna concluded on Sunday evening in 92 seats spread over 11 states and Union Territories.
The stakes are significant for the BJP in this round as the party had in 2019 won an overwhelming majority of these seats, including all in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, that will go to polls on May 7.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP charge, asking the Congress to give in writing that it will not hand over the quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes to Muslims.
The Congress and its allies accused the BJP of trying to tamper with the Constitution and do away with reservations. The principal opposition party, which has promised to remove the 50 per cent cap on reservations, also asked the BJP to clear its stance on the issue.
Over 1300 candidates, including around 120 women, are in the fray. Among the bigwigs are Union ministers Amit Shah (Gandhinagar), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna),Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and SP Singh Baghel (Agra).
Former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Vidisha) and Digvijaya Singh (Rajgarh) have also returned to the Lok Sabha electoral fray this time. The fate of former Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai (Haveri) and Badruddin Ajmal (Dhubri) will also be decided on May 7 .Several members of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family are also contesting in this phase in Uttar Pradesh. Voting will be held in Bihar’s Araria, Supaul, Jhanjharpur, Madhepura and Khagaria, all of which are currently held by the ruling NDA.UTs Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2 seats) will also go to polls in the third phase. In Maharashtra, where 11 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls, which will witness the battle of the Pawars.
In Gujarat, BJP’s Mukesh Dalal has already won from Surat unopposed after the Congress candidate withdrew. (PTI)

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