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Campaigning ends for Election 2004


May 08, 2004 17:49 IST

Amid predictions of a hung Parliament, publicity guns fell silent on Saturday evening as election campaigning drew to a close for the final phase of Lok Sabha election covering 182 seats in 16 states and Union Territories.

Polling will take place on May 10 for the remaining 18 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, 17 in Madhya Pradesh
and the last two seats in Jammu and Kashmir.

Voting will also take place for all the seats in West Bengal (42), Tamil Nadu (39), Kerala (20), Punjab (13), Haryana (10), Delhi (seven), Uttaranchal (five), Himachal Pradesh (four) and one each in Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Chandigarh, Assam (Silchar) and Sikkim.

Polling will also be held for the 32-member Sikkim Assembly on Monday.

Leading Monday's electoral race are stalwarts like Communist Party of India (Marxist) veteran Somnath Chatterjee, Dy Speaker of Lok Sabha P M Sayeed, Union ministers Jagmohan, Sahib Singh Verma, Mamata Banerjee, B C Khanduri, Satyanarain Jatiya and I D Swami.

Also in the race are veterans like Congress' A B A Ghani Khan Chowdhury from Malda, Pranab Mukherjee from Jangipur in West Bengal and former Union ministers P Chidambaram, Mani Shankar Aiyer, T R Baalu and Ajit Singh.

With poll surveys projecting the ruling NDA just short of majority in the 543-member house, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday campaigned in Himachal Pradesh seeking a "decisive mandate" for the NDA.

Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani was in Pondicherry, while BJP chief M Venkaiah Naidu was in Chennai even as BJP leaders Pramod Mahajan, Rajnath Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi concentrated on Uttar Pradesh.
 
Congress' star campaigner, Rahul Gandhi, conducted road shows in Rampur for his party candidate, Noor Bano, while
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav canvassed in Shahjahanpur.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who criss-crossed the nation with a commitment for building a "resurgent India that
is just and secular", addressed her last rally in the capital.

All results are expected by evening May 13.


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