424 constituencies done. 119 more to go. Phase 5 of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is over. In another 16 days, we will find out who gets to govern India for the next five years.
In Phase 5, Uttar Pradesh was the key battleground as Gandhi bastions Amethi and Raebareli voted along with Lucknow and Ayodhya. 57 seats in the state have voted so far and 23 remain.
More than half the seats in West Bengal have cast their votes amidst sporadic violence in Barrackpore. However, Prime Minister Modi and chief minister Mamata Banerjee traded barbs over cyclone Fani relief.
Modi also attacked Congress mentioning late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi once again.
Meanwhile, BJP's general secretary Ram Madhav, speaking to Bloomberg, hinted that the party may fall short of the majority mark. "If we get 271 seats on our own, we will be very happy," he said.
Rajasthan voted for 12 seats in the fifth phase. While the Congress is looking to repeat its assembly election performance, the BJP seeks to repeat its 2014 show when they swept all 25 seats in the state.
CNBC-TV18 spoke with Rasheed Kidwai, senior journalist, Gopal Krishna Agarwal, spokesperson of BJP, Shama Mohamed, spokesperson of Congress, Arun Giri, election analyst, Sudhindra Bhadoria, spokesperson of BSP and Surabhi Hodigere, columnist, to decode the issues and key candidates in the 5th phase of the elections.
Here's what they have to say:
Rasheed Kidwai: "It is a long drawn election. Nobody is sure. If you analyse it very closely, it boils down to Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Orissa. Uttar Pradesh's story is fascinating, you read the statements the way Mayawati has come out and extended support to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. There may be a design behind it, she is even hinting that she may contest the elections from Ambedkar Nagar..."
Shama Mohamed: "Smriti Irani contested in 2002, in 2014 and now she is contesting. The first time she contested she was a BA pass, the second time she contested she was first year BCom and now she is just a 12th standard passed. This shows her credibility. How credible is somebody like this who has been our minister too? She has been shunted from HRD to Telecommunication to textiles... she should have been barred from contesting this time in the elections."Surabhi Hodigere:
"...Rahul has an abysmal percentage of attendance of 52 percent in parliament when the national average is 80 percent, he has asked zero questions, let alone questions about Amethi, his constituency, he has asked zero questions in parliament when the national average is 283."