Over nine crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 606 candidates, including BJP's Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal (both Varanasi) and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (Azamgarh) in tomorrow's ninth and final phase of polling.
Phase 9 info in short:
Total states: 3 (UP, Bihar & West Bengal)
Total constituencies: 41
Total no. of voters: 66.13 million
Total no. of candidates: 606
Women candidates: 39
Total no. of polling stations: 71,254
Total no. of EVMs: 1,45,031
Total no. of personnel deployed: 2,41,245
[See: 2009 results in UP]
Campaigning in the election that started on April 7 came to an end yesterday with Rahul Gandhi taking the battle to Modi's turf in Varanasi while other top leaders including Modi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav addressing last minute meetings.
Counting of votes in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will be taken up on May 16. An average of 66 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the last eight phases.
Forty-one constituencies in three states will go to the election in this phase
The whole elections were spread over 35 days. Of the 41 seats, heartland Uttar Pradesh will witness polling in 18 seats. Of these, ruling Samajwadi Party has six seats, followed by BSP 5, BJP 4 and Congress 3.
West Bengal has 17 seats in which polling will be held. Of these, the ruling Trinamool Congress has 14 seats, while Congress, CPI and Independent have one each. In neighbouring Bihar, six seats are up for grabs. Of them, BJP and JD(U) have two each, while RJD and Independent have one each.
Prominent among those in the fray in tomorrow's polling are Union Minister Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary (Behrampur- West Bengal), BJP leader Jagdambika Pal (Domariyaganj), Union Minister R P N Singh (Kushi Nagar- both UP) and former minister and RJD leader Raghuvanh Prasad Singh (Vaishali-Bihar).
The last phase of the campaign also saw BJP mounting an all-out war on the Election Commission over refusal of permission for Modi to address a public meeting at a spot of his choice in Varanasi. The Commission rejected all charges of bias levelled by BJP and said its decisions in Varanasi and elsewhere were unanimous. There were no differences in the Commission.