New Delhi: Campaigning for the final phase of Lok Sabha elections ends Monday across nine states and Union territories, even as political groupings strove to make friends out of foes ahead of the 13 May polls.
Congress’ P Chidambaram and Mohd Azharuddin, BJP’s Maneka Gandhi, Varun Gandhi, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Vinod Khanna, DMK’s T R Baalu, A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and M K Azhagiri, MDMK’s Vaiko, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and SP’s Jayaprada are among the prominent candidates in this phase of election.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which contested the elections in Andhra Pradesh as part of the Third Front, Sunday appeared in the company of NDA leaders at a public meeting in Ludhiana.
The Left Parties, whom Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had sent feelers to for a post-poll tie-up, have indicated that they too were keeping options open.
“Let the elections be over. Let the results come...After 16 May, we will see,” said CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, whose party had withdrawn support to the Congress-led UPA over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
Elsewhere, Jayalalithaa denied that the AIADMK was in secret talks with others for an alliance.
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, BJP’s Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sajjad Gani Lone of the People’s Conference and Tamil actor M Karthik are also among the prominent contestants in the final leg.
Elections would be held to four seats in Himachal Pradesh, two in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Punjab, all 39 in Tamil Nadu, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in West Bengal, five in Uttarakhand and the lone one seat each in both Chandigarh and Puducherry.
Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are the only states to go to the polls in all the five phases.
So far, elections have been completed to 457 seats since the exercise began on 16 April. The Lok Sabha has 545 members, but polls are held only to 543 seats, as two members are nominated from the Anglo-Indian community.
Tamil Nadu would see an intense battle, as the DMK-Congress combine is trying to defend its record of sweeping all the 39 seats in the 2004 elections.