The nation had just completed its sixth phase of polling on May 12. There is only one phase, the final one, left for May 19. That would close the entire treacherous process, which began in March this year with the election commission releasing the schedule first and then notification.
There are just 59 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 8 States in the final phase of polling on May 19. Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will see the final phase and seal the fate of the parties in the last phase. Uttar Pradesh still holds the last 13 seats in the toughest battle, besides Punjab (13).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bharatiya Janata Party and the NDA have worked hard to retain the power for a second time. Narendra Modi’s election campaign was limited to his chowkidar claims and his chore allegation against the Congress leadership. He also tried to get some political mileage from the Pulwama incident and his Backward Class background. There was some positive mood for the Pulwama claims but the Backward Class background claim did not go well down the lane.
The Congress was able to return the criticism of Narendra Modi. Congress president Rahul Gandhi looked matured to a great extent when compared to the previous elections. He took Narendra Modi to the street corners by making allegations against the corruption involved in the Rafale fighter aircrafts purchase deal, about which the nation believes that the Prime Minister had done some undue favours to the Reliance group.
And there are leaders like Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamatha Benerji and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejirwal taking on Narendra Modi seriously and attacking him day in and day out. There are leaders like Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party and Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party who targeted the BJP and Narendra Modi in this election, giving less opportunities for Modi to respond.
Finally, the BJP is confident of retaining the power, while the Congress and other opposition parties are confident of BJP’s defeat. It is to be seen how the May 19 polling gives the final touch to this round of the battle.