Elections

Campaigning Ends For First Phase Of Lok Sabha Polls, 48-Hour Silence Period Begins

Preparations are underway for the first round of the 18th Lok Sabha, where a total of 102 seats across 21 states and union territories will go to the polls.

Campaigning Ends For First Phase Of Lok Sabha Polls
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The high-stakes election campaign for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections has concluded, bringing in a 48-hour silence period before voting begins on Friday. 

Preparations are underway for the first round of the 18th Lok Sabha, where a total of 102 seats across 21 states and union territories will go to the polls. The top leaders of the BJP-led NDA and the opposition INDIA alliance made one final push to persuade voters.

What Happens 48 Hours Before Polls? 

48 hours before the voting ends, the silence period comes into effect, during which campaigning is prohibited. Other activities that could be interpreted as influencing or impacting the election's results are likewise prohibited.

All of this falls under Sections 126, 126A, and 135C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RP Act), which prohibits all election-related activities, such as holding public meetings and giving speeches, during the silence period.

BJP-led NDA Vs INDIA bloc 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP's campaign with whirlwind tours of several constituencies, promoting the ‘Modi ki guarantee’ against the Congress's 'Nyay' schemes.

The BJP attacked corruption, dynastic politics, and alleged insults to the Constitution and Hinduism, while opposition leaders focused on electoral bonds, inflation, unemployment, and claimed misuse of probe agencies.

BJP's manifesto, named "Modi ki Guarantee", largely built on the government's existing welfare schemes targeted at different sections of society, while reiterating its commitment to one-nation-one-election and Uniform Civil Code.

The Congress party, on the other hand, focussed on five "pillars of justice" and 25 guarantees under them.

Opinion polls suggest BJP's victory in the 2024 elections, although potentially falling short of the "400+" target.  As per NDTV's poll of opinion polls, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is expected to win 365 of the 543 contested seats. This is around 3.4 per cent more than the 353 seats the NDA won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, the Opposition's INDIA bloc is likely to win 122 seats. This is a 35 per cent increase from the 90 seats won by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2019.

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