Campaigning ends for fourth phase of pollsMay 5th, 2009 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Campaigning for the penultimate round of the fiercely fought Indian general elections came to an end at 5 p.m. Tuesday in eight states going to the polls Thursday morning.
Over 1,300 candidates, including External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh, are in the fray in 85 constituencies.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi wrapped up the last day of campaigning with a clarion call to the people to vote for the party’s “aam aadmi” agenda at a public meeting in the capital’s Northeast Delhi constituency.
“They (the BJP) speak of two Indias — one for the rich and (who own) Mercedes Benz and the other of the poor. We speak of aam aadmi and one India,” he said, speaking in Shahdara area of Delhi.
Campaigning in Karnal in Haryana, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani promised the voters: “The 20th century may have belonged to America or Britain. We will ensure that the 21st century belongs to India.”
He added: “The Congress has no culture of sharing power at the centre. The Congress has ruled alone for nearly 50 years. It is the BJP which has worked successfully with coalition partners.”
Advani addressed several rallies in Haryana.
Balloting in Bihar and West Bengal would conclude Thursday, while Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir still have one more phase to go. In Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, polling would be conducted in a single round.
Pranab Mukherjee is contesting from Jangipur in West Bengal and Rajnath Singh is trying his luck from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
There are other veteran leaders in the fray. They are: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mainpuri), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh (Baghpat), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad (Patliputra) and Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference (Srinagar).
Union minister Kapil Sibal is seeking another term from the Chandni Chowk constituency in New Delhi. Young turks Sachin Pilot (Congress) and Manvendra Singh (BJP) are in the fray from Rajasthan while Bollywood actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha and TV star Shekhar Suman from Bihar are also trying their luck.
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