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Voters to decide fate of Modi, Sonia and other top guns in 7th phase tomorrow

New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI): Gujarat and Punjab go to the polls on Wednesday in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections along with some seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that will decide the fate of top guns including Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

Telangana, the new state-to-be, will also elect its first assembly along with representatives to Parliament when elections will be held in 119 Assembly constituencies and 17 Lok Sabha seats in that part of Andhra Pradesh.

The 89 constituencies across seven states and two Union territories have 138.3 million voters. Elections are already over in 349 constituencies in the first six phases.

Yet again, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have big stakes, with 35 and 23 seats in their bag respectively which were won in the last elections.

In Punjab, the stakes are high for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, which has four seats and is locked in a bitter contest with the Congress.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which spearheaded the campaign for a Telangana state, and Congress, whose government at the Centre cleared the new state proposal, are said to be involved in a hard-fought contest over credit for the new state.

The TRS has two Lok Sabha seats while Telugu Desam Party has two from the region.

Janata Dal (United) and Trinamul Congress have five seats each in the constituencies going to polls on Wednesday, while CPI (M) has four.

Modi is seeking to make his debut in the Lok Sabha by contesting from Vadodara, which is among the 26 seats in Gujarat going to polls in a single phase on Wednesday. He is pitted against Madhusudan Mistry of Congress.

Modi is also contesting from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, where he is pitted against Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and Congress' Ajay Rai. The Varanasi seat will go to the polls in the last phase on May 12.

BJP veteran L K Advani is seeking re-election from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Rae Bareli, the pocket borough of the Gandhis, Lucknow and Kanpur are among the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh where election will be held on Wednesday.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is seeking re-election from Rae Bareli, BJP President Rajnath Singh is contesting from Lucknow, once represented by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lok Sabha. He is a sitting MP from Ghaziabad.

Singh is pitted against former UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and the AAP's Javed Jaffrey.

Shifted from Varanasi, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi is contesting from Kanpur where Union minister and Congress leader Sriprakash Jaiswal is fighting to retain his turf.

In Punjab, BJP leader Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is pitted against former state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in the keenly fought electoral battle in Amritsar.

Jaitley is fighting his maiden Lok Sabha polls and a victory is likely to propel him to a position of power if the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance forms the government, while Amarinder's win will revive his political fortunes and he will again emerge as the key Congress leader in the state which has 13 Lok Sabha constituencies.