The bugle for the final phase has been sounded. The big-fight in over 480 Lok Sabha constituencies is over. The battle and the spotlight has now shifted to the 59 seats that are heading for polls in phase seven, on May 19. These 59 seats are spread across seven states and one UT. Here are the seven key battles to watch for in the seventh phase –
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Key contestant: Narendra Modi (BJP)
There was a time the entire nation speculated about a Priyanka v/s Modi fight in Varanasi. The Congress, however, ended all speculations by fielding its 2014 candidate Anand Rai against PM Modi. In 2014, Rai finished third in the contest, after Modi and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal.
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Key contestants: Ram Bhual Nishad (MGB), Ravi Kishan (BJP)
After a stunning defeat in by-polls, the BJP is pulling all the stops to wrest Gorakhpur back from the opposition. The fight here is between Ram Bhual Nishad of the SP and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan of the BJP. Nishad Party leader and incumbent MP Praveen Nishad, who had contested by-polls on an SP ticket had joined BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Key contestants: Kirron Kher (BJP), Pawan Bansal (INC), Harmohan Dhawan (AAP)
Chandigarh is all set to witness a triangular contest. With Congress and BJP renewing trust in their 2014 candidates, Pawan Kumar Bansal, and Kirron Kher will battle it out for Chandigarh yet again. AAP has replaced its 2014 candidate Gul Panag with Harmohan Dhawan, a senior BJP leader who joined the party in 2018.
Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh
Key contestants: Ram Lal Thakur (INC), Anurag Thakur (BJP)
BJP’s Anurag Thakur is seeking re-election for the fourth time and is pitted against Congress’ Ram Lal Thakur, a five-time MLA who had previously contested the seat unsuccessfully. Anurag Thakur is reportedly banking on Modi’s popularity and BJP’s development works.
Key contestants: Sunil Jhakar (INC), Sunny Deol (BJP)
The high-stakes Gurdaspur battle will be a direct contest between Congress’ Sunil Jhakar and ‘Border’ hero Sunny Deol of the BJP both of whom are ‘outsiders.’ The constituency was earlier represented by actor Vinod Khanna who won it four times on a BJP ticket.
Patna Sahib, Bihar
Key contestants: Shatrughan Sinha (INC), Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP)
After months of being vocal against BJP and policies of the Modi government, incumbent MP Shatrughan Sinha joined Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The actor-turned-politician will now take on Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in this high-stakes battle.
Key contestants: Chhedi Paswan (BJP), Meira Kumar (INC)
Senior Congress leader Meira Kumar and BJP’s incumbent MP Chhedi Paswan are once again in the fray from Sasaram constituency. Interestingly, Kumar has lost every time Paswan has contested against her. Will Kumar overcome the odds and change this record? Let us know what you think in comments below: