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Stage set for final round of polls

May 09, 2004 13:07 IST
Last Updated: May 09, 2004 13:08 IST

The stage is set for Monday's fourth and final round of polling in 182 Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 16 states and Union Territories.

An estimated 25.15 crore people will seal the fate of 2,132 candidates, including 149 women, in electronic voting machines.

Prominent among those whose electoral fortunes will be decided are Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran Somnath Chatterjee, Deputy Speaker in the dissolved Lok Sabha P M Sayeed and Union ministers Jagmohan, B C Khanduri, Mamata Banerjee, S S Dhindsa, Satyanarayan Jatiya, Sahib Singh Verma, I D Swami and Vijay Goel.

Exit and opinion polls after the third round of voting forecast that no party or alliance would get a simple majority, with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance garnering 245-265 seats and the Congress and its allies 190-210 seats.

Nearly 1.10 lakh central forces will be deployed in addition to local police to ensure a free and fair poll at 2,18,077 booths.

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