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Lok Sabha elections; Key seats in phase 7, the last round of voting

The Lok Sabha elections 2019 have entered the last lap with phase 7 voting scheduled for May 19 when 59 seats across 7 states and 1 Union Territory will go to polls.

Key candidates in the fray on May 19 are PM Modi from Varanasi, union minister Manoj Sinha from UP’s Ghazipur, SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal from Bathinda, Preneet Kaur from Patiala, Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur, Anurag Thakur from Hamirpur and Misa Bharti from Patlipura.

In this phase, 8 seats each will vote in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, 13 each in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, 4 in Himachal, 1 in Chandigarh, 9 in West Bengal and 3 in Jharkhand.

The counting of votes will take place on May 23. Here is a look at some key contests in this phase:

UTTAR PRADESH

Varanasi

In the ring: Narendra Modi (BJP), Shalini Yadav (SP), Ajay Rai (Congress) and Atiq Ahmed (Independent)

Quick take: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is again contesting from here, which most observers say, will be a one-sided contest. The SP tried to replace its candidate Shalini Yadav with former Border Security Force jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav but his nomination paper was rejected. So, Shalini Yadav is in the fray with Congress’ Ajay Rai and Independent Atiq Ahmed.

2014 results: The BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi defeated his nearest rival Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal by a margin of 3.7 lakh votes.

Maharajganj

In the ring: Pankaj Chaudhary (BJP) , Akhilesh Singh (SP) , Supriya Srinate (Congress)

Quick take: Sitting BJP MP and the party’s candidate for 2019 Pankaj Chaudhary has won the seat five times, the first time being 1991. This time around, the contest has become tough for him with SP and BSP coming together. The Congress candidate, Supriya Srinate is likely to cut into the vote share of both BJP and the gathbandhan.

2014 results: Pankaj Chaudhary of BJP defeated his nearest rival Kashi Nath Shukla of BSP by a margin of 2.4 lakh votes.

Gorakhpur

In the ring: Ravi Kishan (BJP), Ram Bhual Nishad (SP) and Madhusudhan Tiwari (Congress)

Quick take: It’s a tough straight contest between the SP-BSP gathbandhan candidate and the BJP. Gorakhpur had been a citadel of UP CM Yogi Adityanath. SP won the 2018 bypolls necessitated by Yogi vacating the seat after becoming Uttar Pradesh chief minister. Yogi has picked Ravi Kishan in a bid to win back the seat using Bhojpuri star power. The SP is contesting to retain the seat, even though it did not field the sitting MP Praveen Kumar Nishad, whose party is now part of the NDA alliance.

2014 results: Yogi Adityanath of BJP won the seat by defeating his nearest rival Rajmati Nishad of SP by a whopping margin of 3.12 lakh votes. In 2018 by-poll Praveen Nishad of SP defeated Upendra Dutt Shukla of the BJP by 21,000 votes.

Kushinagar

In the ring: Vijay Dubey (BJP) , RPN Singh (Congress) ,Nathuni Prasad Kushwaha (SP)

Quick take: The 2009-2014 Congress MP on the seat, RPN is contesting against BJP’s candidate Vijay Dubey and gathbandhan’s candidate Nathuni Prasad Kushwaha. The constituency is said to be a family bastion of Singh, who lost to Rajesh Pandey of BJP in the Modi wave of 2014.

2014 results: Rajesh Pandey of BJP won the seat by defeating the 2009 Congress MP on the seat RPN Singh by a margin of 85,000 votes.

Deoria

In the ring: Ramapati Ram Tripathi (BJP), Niyaz Ahmed (Congress), Binod Kumar Jaiswal (BSP)

Quick take: BJP did not field 2014 winner Kalraj Mishra, who had won by a huge margin. Instead, Ramapati Ram Tripathi is the new candidate. The first runner up in 2014, BSP’s Niyaz Ahmed is now the Congress candidate and the BSP has fielded Binod Kumar Jaiswal as the gathbandhan candidate.

2014 results: Kalraj Mishra of BJP defeat his nearest rival Niyaz Ahmed of BSP by a huge margin of 2.65 lakh votes.

Bansgaon

In the ring: Kamlesh Paswan (BJP), Kush Saurabh (Congress), Sadal Prasad (BSP)

Quick take: The BJP candidate Kamlesh Paswan won the seat in 2009 and 2014, but now the contest has turned tough with SP and BSP coming together. The combined vote share of SP and BSP is fractionally higher than that of Kamlesh’s.

2014 results: Kamlesh Paswan of BJP defeated his nearest rival Sadal Prasad of BSP by a margin of 1.8 lakh votes.

Ghosi

In the ring: Harinarayan Rajbhar (BJP), Bal Krishna Chauhan (Congress), Atul Kumar Singh (BSP)

Quick take: The 78-year-old Harinarayan Rajbhar is the oldest BJP candidate in the fray in UP. The sitting MP, Harinarayan, is in a tough fight with the gathbandhan candidate Atul Kumar Singh (BSP) as the combined vote share of SP and BSP in 2014 on the seat was higher than Harinarayan’s.

2014 results: Harinarayan Rajbhar of BJP defeated his nearest rival Dara Singh Chauhan of BSP by a margin of 1.46 lakh votes.

Salempur

In the ring: Ravindra Kushwaha (BJP), Rajesh Mishra (Congress), RS Kushwaha (BSP)

Quick take: The sitting BJP MP Ravindra Kushwaha is in a straight fight with RS Kushwaha (BSP) the gathbandhan candidate.

2014 results: Ravindra Kushwaha of BJP defeated his nearest rival Ravi Shankar Singh of BSP by a margin of 2.34 lakh votes.

Ballia

In the ring: Virendra Singh (BJP) and Sanathan Pandey (SP), Congress is not contesting

Quick take: BJP has replaced its sitting MP Bharat Singh with Virendra Singh, who is in a straight fight with the gathbandhan candidate Sanathan Pandey. SP did not repeat its 2014 candidate Neeraj Shekhar, Rajya Sabha MP and son of the late prime minister Chandra Shekhar, who lost in 2014. Chandra Shekhar had won eight times from here, Neeraj twice.

2014 results: Bharat Singh of BJP defeated his nearest rival and then Ballia MP, Neeraj Shekhar of Samajwadi Party by 1.4 lakh votes.

Ghazipur

In the ring: Manoj Sinha (BJP), Afzal Ansari (BSP) and Ajit Pratap Kushwaha (Congress)

Quick take: The sitting BJP MP and union minister Manoj Sinha is in a direct fight with gathbandhan candidate Afzal Ansari (BSP), who is the brother of the local don and politician Mukhtar Ansari. The Ansari brothers have sizeable influence in the area . The combined vote share of SP and BSP in 2014 was 20% higher than Manoj Sinha’s 31%. But, Sinha has done a lot of development work in the constituency and hopes on get pro-incumbency votes.

2014 results: BJP’s Manoj Sinha won the seat by a margin of 32,000 votes against SP’s Shivkanya Kushwaha.

Chandauli

In the ring: Mahendra Nath Pandey (BJP), Sanjay Chauhan (SP), Shivkanya Kushwaha (JAP–a Congress ally)

Quick take: The BJP state president and sitting MP on the seat, Mahendra Nath Pandey, is contesting to retain the seat and prestige. But the contest is tough against gathbandhan candidate Sanjay Chauhan of SP as the combined vote share of SP and BSP was higher than Pandey’s in 2014.

2014 results: Mahendra Nath Pandey of BJP won the seat against his nearest rival Anil Kumar Maruya of BSP by a margin of 1.56 lakh votes.

Mirzapur

In the ring: Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal– a BJP ally), Ram Charitra Nishad (SP), Lalitesh Pati Tripathi (Congress)

Quick take: The union minister and the sitting MP on Mirzapur seat is in a tough triangular contest with the gathbandhan and the Congress. The gathbandhan has an edge as it has fielded the sitting BJP MP on Machlishahar seat and gets an advantage of SP and BSP combined vote share. Lalitesh Pati Tripathi may cut votes of both BJP and the gathbandhan.

2014 results: Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal, a BJP ally, won the seat by a margin of 2.19 lakh votes against his nearest rival Samudra Bind of BSP.

Robertsganj

In the ring: Kailash Nath (SBSP–a BJP ally), Bhai Lal Kol (SP), Bhagwati Prasad Chaudhary (Congress)

Quick take: BJP won the seat in 2014, but this time the seat was given to ally Shuheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party. The gathbandhan with its combined vote share has an edge in the straight fight.

2014 results: Chotelal of BJP won by a margin of 1.9 lakh votes against his nearest rival Sharada Prasad of BSP.

PUNJAB

Bathinda

In the ring: Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD), Amrinder Singh Raja Warring (Congress), Baljinder Kaur (AAP) and Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Punjab Ekta Party)

Quick take: Harsimrat, the daughter-in-law of five-time former CM Parkash Singh Badal and wife of party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, won the seat in 2009 and 2014, but has a tough fight at hand this time and is counting on development during the 10-year Akali rule. Warring is trying to tap into the anger against the Akalis over the 2015 sacrilege and police firing incidents. The AAP had done well in the constituency in the 2017 state polls, but is in disarray due to constant internal bickering.

2014 result: Harsimrat Badal won the seat by defeating her estranged brother-in-law Manpreet Singh Badal of Congress by 19,395 votes

Khadoor Sahib

In the ring: Jagir Kaur (SAD), Jasbir Singh Dimpa (Congress) Paramjit Kaur Khalra (Punjab Ekta Party)

Quick take: The Panthic constituency (known as Tarn Taran before delimitation) has been an Akali stronghold. The SAD won the seat six consecutive times, but its nominee Jagir Kaur, is locked in a close triangular contest with Dimpa and Khalra this time. The PEP nominee, widow of human rights activist Jaswant Khalra who was killed by cops, is a dark horse. Rebel Akali leader and sitting MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, who floated his separate party, has backed Khalra, whereas Sam Pitroda’s ‘hua toh hua” remark on 1984 anti-Sikh riots is likely to dent the Congress chances.

2014 result: Ranjit Singh Brahmpura of SAD defeated Harminder Singh Gill of Congress by 100,569 votes

Patiala

In the ring: Preneet Kaur (Congress) Dr Dharamvira Gandhi (Nawan Punjab Party) Surjit Singh Rakhra (SAD)

Quick take: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s wife and former Union minister Preneet Kaur is facing a triangular battle in her bid to reclaim the party’s lost turf. She had won the seat in 1999, 2004 and 2009, but suffered a shocking loss in the family fortress in 2014. She was defeated by a political greenhorn, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi of AAP. The Congress candidate is harping on development, whereas Gandhi, who turned rebel and formed his separate party, is counting on his popularity. SAD’s Rakhra sees “Modi magic” as his best bet. Gandhi’s NPP is a constituent of six-party Punjab Democratic Alliance.

2014 result: Dr Dharamvira Gandhi of AAP defeated Preneet Kaur of Congress by 20,942 votes

Gurdaspur

In the ring: Sunil Jakhar (Congress) and Sunny Deol (BJP)

Quick take: The contest in Gurdaspur constituency, which borders Pakistan is between two ‘outsiders’ – Punjab Congress president and sitting MP Sunil Jakhar and actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol. Though Jakhar had won the seat by a 1.93 lakh votes in the 2017 Lok Sabha bypoll after death of four-time MP and actor Vinod Khanna, Sunny’s roadshows have been a huge hit, causing worry in the Congress camp. The BJP candidate is banking on Modi’s sway and his own appeal in the star-struck constituency. On the other hand, Jakhar, whose party is in power in Punjab, is promising development, but has had to battle anti-incumbency against party MLAs.

2014 result: Vinod Khanna of BJP defeated Partap Singh Bajwa of Congress by 136,065 votes

Chandigarh

In the ring: Kirron Kher (BJP) and Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress)

Quick take: It is 2014 election minus Aam Aadmi Party’s Gul Panag, who is not contesting. The local issues are dominating the polls even though Kher hopes to defeat Bansal again riding on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity. Her inaccessibility is a major issue as compared to more accessible Bansal, a local resident, and former MP.

2014 result: BJP’s Kirron Kher defeats Congress’s Bansal by 69,642 votes.

BIHAR

Patna Sahib

In the ring: Ravishankar Prasad (BJP), Shatrughan Sinha (Congress)

Quick take: The battle for Patna Sahib has turned into a prestige battle between the BJP and Shatrughan Sinha. The saffron party is leaving no stone unturned for Ravishankar Prasad’s victory, who is contesting the elections for the first time. The party president Amit Shah held a roadshow in his support on May 11.

2014 result: Shatrughan Sinha of BJP defeated Kunal Singh of Congress by 265,805 votes.

Patliputra

In the ring: Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP) and Misa Bharti (RJD)

Quick take: Patliputra will see a battle royal between union minister Ram Kripal Yadav and Lalu Prasad’s eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti. Yadav had quit the RJD and joined the BJP after being denied a ticket by Lalu Prasad in favour of his daughter . Bharti lost the polls in 2014. This time, Left parties have extended their support to Bharti.

2014 result: Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP) defeated Misa Bharti (RJD) by more than 40,322 votes

Buxar

In the ring: Ashwani Kumar Choubey (BJP) and Jagadanand Singh (RJD)

Quick Take: Union minister Ashwani Choubey is fighting anti-incumbency and caste combinations and is banking on Modi factor for a win. He is pitted against the RJD’s Jagadanand Singh.

2104 results: Ashwini Kumar Chowbey (BJP) defeated Jagadanand Singh (RJD) by over 63,000 votes.

WEST BENGAL

Diamond Harbour

In the ring: Abhishek Banerjee (Trinamool Congress), Nilanjan Roy (Bharatiya Janata Party), Fuad Halim (Communist Party of India-Marxist), Soumya Aich Roy (Congress)

Quick Take: Abhishek Banerjee, the ruling party candidate in Diamond Harbour constituency and nephew of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, is also the heir apparent of the Trinamool Congress. He is easily the most important face in the party after his aunt, and the party has pulled out all stops to ensure that he wins with a handsome margin. Though 31-year-old Banerjee did not win by a big margin in 2014, his party candidates won all the seven assembly constituencies that constitute Diamond Harbour seat in the Bengal assembly polls in 2016.

2014 result: Abhishek Banerjee (Trinamool Congress) defeated Abul Hasnat (Communist Party of India-Marxist) by 71,298 votes.

JHARKHAND

Dumka

In the Ring: JMM patriarch Shibu Soren is up against BJP’s Sunil Soren.

Quick Take: JMM president and three term chief minister Shibu Soren is looking for a record ninth win from the seat in the tribal-dominated Santhal Pargana division, considered a party stronghold. He is up against BJP’s Sunil Soren, who lost to the JMM president in 2014 by around 39,000 votes. Sunil Soren is a former JMM legislator and the saffron party is banking on him to wrest the seat from the JMM president in order to make inroads into Santhal. A victory against Shibu Soren would be a major boost to the ruling party’s prospects in the state assembly elections scheduled later this year.

2014 Result: Shibu Soren of JMM defeated Sunil Soren of BJP by 39,193 votes.

HIMACHAL PRADESH

Hamirpur

In the Ring: Anurag Thakur of BJP and Ramlal Thakur of Congress

Quick take: The BJP has never lost from Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat since 1998. The seat is a family borough of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. His son Anurag has won three consecutive elections since 2008, when he contested in a by-poll after his father got elected as chief minister of Himachal. The Congress has fielded former state minister Ramlal Thakur, who is considered a strong Rajput community leader and has good support base .

2014 result: Anurag Thakur defeated Congress’s Rajender Singh by 98,403 lakh votes

MADHYA PRADESH

Khandwa

In the ring: Arun Yadav (Congress), Nandkumar Singh Chauhan (BJP), Dayaram Korku (BSP)

Quick take: Arun Yadav and Nandkumar Singh Chouhan former presidents of their respective state units are fighting for their political survival. Going by 2018 assembly election results, Congress looks strong as it won four out of eight seats against BJP’s 3 seats. Chauhan is seeking votes in name of Modi whereas Yadav, whose father Subhash Yadav had won almost all elections from the region, on the work done by the Congress government in the last four months. Yadav had defeated Chauhan from the same seat in 2009 parliamentary elections by 49, 081 votes.

2014 result: Nandkumar Singh Chauhan (BJP) defeated Arun Yadav (Congress) by 259,714 votes.

First Published:
May 18, 2019 12:46 IST

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