The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, one of the most bitterly fought in recent memory will come to an end today. Voting will be held in 59 constituencies including in Varanasi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to retain the seat.
Polling will be held in all 13 seats in Punjab and an equal number of seats in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat Chandigarh.
Over 10.01 crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 918 candidates. The Election Commission has set up more than 1.12 lakh polling stations for smooth conduct of polls.
Tomorrow, a by-poll will be held in Goa's capital Panaji, necessitated due to the death of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March. By-elections will also be held in four assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu -- Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram (SC) and Thiruparankundram.
In Uttar Pradesh, all eyes will be on Varanasi, where besides PM Modi, 25 other candidates are contesting. PM Modi's main opponents are Congress's Ajay Rai and Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party grand alliance nominee Shalini Yadav.
Union minister Manoj Sinha, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey is seeking re-election from Ghazipur and Chandauli, respectively.
The BJP is contesting 11 Lok Sabha seats in this phase, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) is contesting Mirzapur, currently held by Union minister Anupriya Patel, and Robertsganj.
Elections will also be held in all four Lok Sabha constituencies in Himachal Pradesh where as many as 45 candidates are contesting. The results of the national elections will be announced on May 23.