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November 9, 2023 1:19 PM IST

Poll battle heats up as PM Modi, Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman and others head to Madhya Pradesh for campaigning

After the first round of voting for all 40 assembly constituencies in Mizoram and 20 southern assembly constituencies in Chhattisgarh, the spotlight now shifts to the remaining states and assemblies participating in the second phase of elections. Star campaigners and prominent figures from various political parties are immersed in electioneering activities. In anticipation of the assembly elections, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh have witnessed unprecedented political and electoral fervor for some time.

The second phase of voting in Chhattisgarh is scheduled for November 17, with a single-phase election for all 234 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh also taking place on the same day. Meanwhile, Rajasthan and Telangana will go to the polls on November 25 and 30, respectively, with the counting of votes set for December 3.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a prominent figure in this electoral battle, addressing multiple rallies as the star campaigner of the BJP. He is supported by ministers from his Cabinet and top political leaders from his party in nearly all the poll-bound states. On the other side, from the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, the national chief of the party Mallikarjun Kharge, and a few senior state leaders are leading the charge as key campaigners in these election-bound states.

On Thursday, PM Modi is embarking on an election tour of Madhya Pradesh, delivering speeches at public meetings in Satna, Chhatarpur, and Neemuch districts in support of party candidates.

After addressing a public meeting in Satna district at 11 a.m., Prime Minister Modi will continue his election campaign by addressing meetings in support of party candidates in Chhatarpur at 1 p.m. and Neemuch at 4:30 p.m.

Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani is also actively campaigning in Madhya Pradesh, addressing election rallies in support of party candidates. She is set to hold a public meeting in Itarsi at 2 p.m., in Khirkiya in the Harda Assembly at 3:30 p.m., and at the Chandbad Narela Assembly in Bhopal district at 6:30 p.m.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is another key figure on an election tour of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. In addition to addressing a press conference in Bhopal, she will participate in various election-related programs across the state.

Sitharaman will host a women’s conference in Narela Assembly at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, and at 3:00 p.m., she will engage in discussions on economic matters with officials of major institutions at Hotel Taj in Bhopal. Later in the day, at 4:00 p.m., the finance minister will also meet with women entrepreneurs at the Kushabhau Thackeray Auditorium.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India has developed an in-house software called ‘ENCORE,’ which stands for Enabling Communications on Real-time Environment. This system streamlines the process for Returning Officers, enabling them to handle candidate nominations.


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