The penultimate batch of Lok Sabha warriors fought in 59 seats across six states and a UT today. Celebrities and debutants, ministers and monks – the parties have taken care to field their best. Team Neta brings you some of the most interesting battles to watch out for. Here they are…
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Key contestants: Digvijay Singh (INC), Sadhavi Pragya Thakur (BJP)
The high stakes Bhopal seat will witness a contest between former MP CM Digvijay Singh and BJP’s firebrand Sadhavi Pragya Thakur. The campaign has as expected, mostly revolved around polarisation catering to the majoritarian sentiments. This is battle of prestige for Congress veteran Singh who re-launched himself afresh with a Narmada parikrama in 2017.
Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Key contestants: Sanjay Sinh (INC), Maneka Gandhi (BJP), Chandra Bhadra Singh (MGB)
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi is contesting from Sultanpur, a seat won by her son Varun Gandhi in 2014. The mother-son duo has swapped constituency this time. While the Congress has fielded former Sultanpur MP Sanjay Sinh, Mahagathbandhan has fielded BJP rebel, Chandra Bhadra Singh. The constituency was in the news for controversial statements made by Gandhis.
Key contestants: Gautam Gambhir (BJP), Atishi Marlena (AAP)
The Jamuna Paar constituency, East Delhi promises a triangular contest between a cricketer, an advisor to the CM, and a four-time MLA. From multiple voter-IDs to a derogatory pamphlet, an allegation fuelled Gambhir-Atishi war has been trending across media platforms. While Atishi is banking on the welfare-work of her government, BJP is banking on Gambhir’s popularity to retain this seat. Congress has fielded Arvinder Singh Lovely who enjoys a grassroots connect and has never lost an election in his political career.
Key contestants: Pashupati Nath Singh (BJP), Kirti Azad (INC)
BJP’s Pashupati Nath Singh has won Dhanbad since 2009. In 2014, he polled 47% against Congress’ 21%. Congress decided to field cricketer-turned-politician and BJP turncoat Kirti Azad in T-20 style – just two weeks before he filed his nomination. Azad is a former three-time MP from Darbhanga.
North East Delhi
Key contestants: Sheila Dikshit (INC), Manoj Tiwari (BJP), Dilip Pandey (AAP)
It is difficult to miss North East Delhi constituency from where political heavyweights have been fielded. Purvanchalis account for 30% of the population. While the sitting MP Manoj Tiwari is counting on Purvanchali support, former three-time CM Sheila Dikshit is banking on the progress made during her tenure.
North West Delhi
Key contestants: Rajesh Lelothia (INC), Hans Raj Hans (BJP), Gugan Singh Ranga (AAP)
A Padma Shri awardee, Hans, fielded in place of incumbent MP Udit Raj, has previously shifted political loyalties from SAD to Congress to BJP. Challenging him are two former MLAs – Congress’ Lelothia who is eyeing Udit Raj’s vote bank and AAP’s Gugan Singh who is banking on his party’s development work.
Key contestants: Ramesh Bhiduri (BJP), Raghav Chaddha (AAP), Vijender Singh (INC)
Incumbent Ramesh Bhiduri will face AAP’s Raghav Chaddha and India’s only Olympic bronze-medal winning boxer Vijendra Singh in a triangular contest. While Chaddha and Singh are marking their debut, Bhiduri is a three-time lawmaker.
Guna, Madhya Pradesh
Key contestants: Jyotiraditya Scindia (INC), KP Yadav (BJP)
Bastion of the Gwalior’s erstwhile royal family – the Scindias, Guna is currently held by Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia who has been representing the seat since 2002 when by-polls were necessitated after his father Madhavrao Scindia’s death. BJP has fielded it’s 2014 runner-up KP Yadav against the mighty Scindia. Has the BJP given a walkover to Scindia? Let us know in the comments!