The Congress and the BJP look set for keen contests in some key states, where the rivals have nominated their important leaders to take on each other.
The Congress came out with its first list of 194 candidates on Saturday, while the BJP has so far announced 107 candidates in phases.
While Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will face Kumar Vishwas of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Amethi, former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari will square off with the Congress’ Vilas Muttemwar and RTI activist Anjali Damania of the AAP in Nagpur.
The other parties are yet to declare candidates from the seat.
In Mumbai South, Union minister of state Milind Deora will face the AAP’s Meera Sanyal, a former banker, while Congress’ Sanjay Nirupam will contest with Gopal Shetti of the BJP Mumbai North.
In Maharashtra’s Sangli seat, Prateek Prakash of the Congress will contest against Sanjay Kakapatil of the BJP and AAP’s Sameena Abdul Majid Khan.
In the Gulbarga seat in Karnataka, railway minister Malikarjun Kharge of the Congress will face former Karnataka minister Revu Naik Bilamji of the BJP.
In Odisha, former chief minister Giridhar Gamang is pitted against the BJP’s Shibashankar Ulka in Koraput. In Dhenkanal, Sudhir Kumar Samal of the Congress will fight against Rudra Narayan Pani of the BJP. There’s a third candidate here -- AAP party candidate is Jimuta Prasad Mishra.
In Bolangir, another key seat in Odisha, Sarad Patnaik of the Congress is pitted against former MP and BJP candidate Sunita Kumari Singh Deo.
Rajasthan’s Sikar seat will witness a fight between PS Jat of the Congress and Major Sunider Kumar Puninda of the AAP.
In Punjab’s Patiala, Union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur of the Congress will clash with Dharamvira Gandhi of the AAP.
In West Bengal, where contest is believed to be between the Trinamool Congress and the Left, President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijeet Mukherjee will contest from Jangipur against the BJP’s Samrat Ghosh.
In Raiganj, minister of state Deepa Dasmunshi will face movie star Nimu Bhowmick of the BJP.
Mausam Noor, a young Congress MP, will fight Subhash Krishna Goswami of the BJP from Malda (north), while for the minority-dominated Murshidabad seat, the Congress has fielded Abdul Mannan Hussain against BJP’s Sujit Kumar Ghosh, a former police officer.