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Lok Sabha election 2019: A look at the key contests in phase 2

The second phase of the seven phased general elections will take place on 18th of April to choose 97 members of parliament across 13 states and Union Territories.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 18, 2019 06:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
dmk,bjp,congress
Ganderbal: Voters leave after casting their vote as security personnel stands guard at a polling station during the second phase of Panchayat elections at Kangan, in Gandrebal district, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. ( PTI Photo/S Irfan)(PTI11_20_2018_000053B)(PTI)

The country is all set for the second round of elections on April 18 in the ongoing seven-phase Lok Sabha polls that will elect 543 members to the lower house of Parliament .

Going to polls in the second phase will be 95 seats in 12 states and one Union Territory. Election to Vellore Lok Sabha seat was cancelled following the recovery of large amount of cash from the constituency and the East Tripura poll was postponed to April 23 over law and order considerations.

Here is a look at some of the close contests in phase two of Lok Sabha elections:

Tamil Nadu

Kanyakumari

In the Ring: Pon Radhakrishnan (BJP), H Vasanthakumar (Congress),

Quick take: Sitting MP Radhakrishnan is taking on businessman Vasanthakumar, managing director of home appliances dealership chain Vasanth and Company. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have visited the constituency. The Nadars, followers of Hinduism and Christianity, make up a majority in the constituency unlike most parts of Tamil Nadu, where the Dravidians dominate the population.

2014 result: Pon Radhakrishnan defeated H Vasanthakumar by a margin of 128,662 votes.

Thoothukkudi:

In the Ring: Kanimozhi Karunanidhi ( DMK) and Tamilisai Sounderrarajan ( BJP)

Quick take: Late DMK leader M Karunanidhi’s daughter and DMK President MK Stalin’s half-sister Kanimozhi is taking on BJP state chief Sundararajan. The Nadar community is predominant here.

2014 result: AIADMK’s Jeyasingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee won the seat with a margin of 366,052 votes over DMK’s P Jegan.

WATCH: Lok Sabha elections 2019: The big fights to watch out for in Phase 2

Nilgiris (SC):

In the Ring: A Raja (DMK) and M Thiyagarajan (AIADMK).

Quick take: Former union telecom minister A Raja is contesting again from the reserved seat of Nilgiris. He won from here in the 2009 LS elections. Scheduled castes and tribes and the Gongu Vellalar Gounders, the community to which chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami belongs, are predominant here.

2014 result: AIADMK’s C Gopalakrishnan defeated DMK’s A Raja by 104,940 votes.

Sivaganga

In the Ring: Karti P Chidambaram (Congress) and H Raja ( BJP)

Quick take: It is a prestigious battle for Karti, son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who is taking on BJP national secretary H Raja. Interestingly, both Karti and Raja contested the 2014 national polls and Raja finished third and Karti fourth in the contest. With the AIADMK in an alliance with the BJP and DMK with the Congress, it is a bipolar contest this time. Thevars, Chettiars (Chidambaram’s caste) and Dalits form a majority in this constituency.

2014 result: AIADMK’s PR Senthilnathan won the seat with 475,993 votes. DMK’s Dhurai Raaj Subha was runner-up with 246,608 votes.

Chennai Central

In the Ring: Dhayanidhi Maran (DMK), Sam Paul (PMK) and KKSM Dehlan Baqavi (SDPI).

Quick Take: Former union telecom minister Maran is taking on industrialist Sam Paul, who is from Dr S Ramadoss’s Pattali Makkal Katchi(PMK) party, an NDA alliance partner. TTV Dhinakaran has fielded Dehlan Baqavi, state president of the Social Democratic Party of India. Muslims and Christians are a majority in the constituency and SDPI has traction among Muslims.

2014 result: AIADMK’ SR Vijayakumar defeated DMK’s Dhayanidhi Maran by a margin of 45,841 votes.

Uttar Pradesh

Mathura

In the ring: Hema Malini (BJP), Mahesh Pathak (INC), Kunwar Narendra Singh (RLD)

Quick take: Actress-turned-politician Hema Malini, the sitting MP, faces a tough challenge from Narendra Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal and local industrialist Mahesh Pathak of the Congress. In Mathura,. 70% of voters inhabit the rural belt, Hema Malini, who was accompanied by chief minister Yogi Adityanath on the day she filed her nomination papers,faces anger among voters over issues including unemployment and Yamuna pollution.

2014 result: Hema Malini (BJP) defeated RLD vice president Jayant Chaudhary by a margin of over 300,000 votes.

Fatehpur Sikri

In the ring: Raj Kumar Chahar (BJP), Raj Babbar (INC), Shri Bhagwan Sharma alias Guddu Pandit (BSP)

Quick take: Considered a local, having been MP from nearby Agra for the Samajwadi Party twice, the Bahujan Samaj Party’s Sharma is taking on actor-turned-politician Babbar of the Congress and the BJP’s Chahar, who has replaced sitting MP Chaudhary Babulal .

2014 result: BJP candidate Chaudhary Babulal defeated BSP candidate Seema Upadhaya by a margin of over 170,000 votes.

Agra (Reserved)

In the ring: SP Singh Baghel (BJP), Preeta Harit (Congess), Manoj Soni (BSP)

Quick take: Althought it is known as the Dalit capital, this seat has never gone to the BSP, which counts the community among its core supporters. Congress candidate Preeta Harit resigned as principal commissioner in the income tax department last month to try his luck as a Congress candidate in this reserved seat, which was last won by the Congress in 1984. The BJP, which won here in 2009 and 2014, is seeking to score a hat trick from Agra, where it has fielded SP Singh Baghel. Election issues in the constituency, dominated by Dalits, Muslims and Vaishyas, include the creation of a high court bench, a barrage on the Yamuna and an international airport

2014 result: BJP candidate Ram Shankar Katheria defeated BSP’s Narain Singh Suman by a margin of 300,000 votes.

Aligarh

In the ring: Satish Gautam (BJP), Bijendra Singh (Congress), Ajit Baliyan (BSP)

Quick take: The contest is keen with the BJP retaining sitting MP Satish Gautam, known for questioning the presence of Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s portrait in Aligarh Muslim University. His challenger, Congress candidate Bijendra Singh, was the MP in 2004. With no party nominating a Muslim, it is truly a triangular contest.

2014 result: Satish Gautam (BJP) defeated BSP candidate Arvind Kumar Singh by a margin of about 300,000 votes.

Amroha

In the ring : Danish Ali (BSP) , Kanwar Singh Tanwar ( BJP), Sachin Choudhary (Congress)

Quick take- Tanwar is the sitting MP of the BJP who will take on Danish Ali, a Janata Dal (Secular) leader contesting on a BSP ticket. The Congress candidate, Sachin Choudhary, could hurt the BJP vote bank among the Jats. Muslim (about 40% of the population), Dalits (15%) and the Sainis (gardners, an other backward class) make up a majority of the electorate, making it an interesting contest.

2014 result: Kanwar Singh Tanwar of the BJP defeated Humera Akhtar of the Samajwadi Party by a margin of 158,214 votes.

Bihar

Katihar

In the ring: Tariq Anwar (Congress) and Dulal Chandra Goswami (JD-U)

Quick take: The stakes are high for sitting MP Anwar after he resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party and joined the Congress ahead of the parliamentary polls, antagonizing both Congress and NCP workers.

2014 result: Anwar (then with NCP) defeated Nikhil Kumar Choudhary of the BJP by a margin of by a margin of 114,000 votes

Assam

Silchar (Assam)

In the ring: Sushmita Dev (Congress), Rajdeep Roy (BJP), Nazia Yasmin Mazumdar (NPP)

Quick take: Despite the Modi wave in 2014, Sushmita Dev of the Congress won the seat, riding on sympathy for her father and veteran Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev, who had died a few months before the polls. The Citizenship Amendment Bill, which proposes Indian citizenship for minorities from the Muslim-majority nations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and has evoked widespread protests in Assam, is an important issue in this constituency, dominated by the Bengali-speaking population.

2014 result: Congress’s Sushmita Dev defeated BJP’s Kabindra Purkayastha by a margin of 35,240 votes

Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar

In the ring: Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Irfan Ansari (People’s Conference), Agha Mohsin (People’s Democratic Party), Khalid Jehangir (BJP).

Quick take: Sitting MP and four-time former chief minister Farooq Abdullah is facing being challenged by Irfan Ansari and Agha Mohsin, both political novices. Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are star campaigners for their parties, seeking votes to defend Article 35A and 370 of the Constitution that offer special privileges to permanent residents of the state and autonomy to J&K, respectively.

2014 result: PDP’s Tariq Karra defeated NC’s Farooq Abdullah. Karra later defected to the Congress and in the subsequent by-poll in 2017, Abdullah defeated PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan by a margin of 10,776 votes.

Udhampur

In the ring: Dr Jitendra Singh (BJP), Vikramaditya Singh (Congress), Choudhary Lal Singh (Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan) and Harsh Dev Singh (Panthers Party).

Quick take: In a direct contest between Jitendra Singh and Vikramaditya Singh, Lal Singh,a former MP from Jammu, can play spoiler. The National Conference and People’s Democratic Party have not fielded candidates and are supporting the Congress.

2014 result: Jitendra Singh defeated Congress’s Rajya Sabha leader Ghulam Nabi Azad by a margin of 60,976 votes.

Odisha

Aska

In the ring: Pramila Bisoyi (BJD), Anita Subhadarshini (BJP), Ramakrushna Panda (CPI-Cong alliance)

Quick take: After the sitting MP Ladukishore Swain died early this year, BJD nominated Pramila Bisoi, a 68-year-old self help group leader. CM Naveen Patnaik was first elected to the Lok Sabha from Aska in 1998 and his assembly constituency Hinjli is also part of the seat. About 20% of population in the constituency is made up of Dalits.

2014 result: Ladu Kishore Swain defeated Lokanath Mishra of Congress by a margin of 311,997 votes.

Kandhamal

In the ring: Achyut Samanta(BJD), MA Kharabela Swain(BJP), Manoj Acharya(Cong)

Quick take: The site of Hindu-Christian riots in 2008 in the wake of the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmanananda Saraswati, Kandhamal is now an epitome of peace. After sitting MP Pratyusha Rajeswari was denied a renomination, educational entrepreneur and Rajya Sabha MP Achyuta Samanta was fielded by the Biju Janata Dal against Swain, a three-time BJP MP. Over 50% of the voters in Kandhamal are tribals.

2014 result: Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh of BJD defeated Harihara Karan of Congress by a margin of 181,017 votes.

Chhattisgarh

Rajnandgaon

In the ring: Santosh Pandey ( BJP) and Bholaram Sahu ( Congress )

Quick take: In Rajnanadgaon, BJP has fielded Santosh Pandey , a resident of Kawardha. Pandey is close to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and in 2003, he contested the Birendra Nagar constituency where he lost to the Congress’s Mohammad Akbar. Pandey will be taking on Bholaram Sahu , a two-time MLA from Khujji and a Sahu community leader. Former chief minister Raman Singh , the MLA from Rajnandgaon, is campaigning for Pandey while Sahu is relying on the support of his community, which makes up more than 15% of the constituency’s population.

2014 result: Abhishek Singh ( BJP) won by 235,911 votes over Kamleshwar Verma of Congress.

Maharashtra

Amravati

In the ring: Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena), Navneet Kaur Rana (Yuva Swabhimani Paksha)

Quick take: Anandrao Adsul is contesting the polls against Yuva Swabhimani Party (YSP) candidate Navneet Kaur Rana, a former Telugu film actor, supported by the Congress, NCP and Republican Party of India. Adsul is a three-term MP from the Buldhana constituency and two-term MP from Amravati. The combination of Dalits and Muslims forms one-third of the population of the constituency.

2014 result: Anandrao Adsul defeated Navneet Kaur by a margin of 137,932 votes.

Akola

In the ring: Sanjay Dhotre (BJP), Hidayat Patel (Congress) and Prakash Ambedkar (Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi)

Quick take: Sanjay Dhotre, a three-term MP from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), will take on Congress leader Hidayat Patel, who lost to him in 2014. The BJP has been winning here since 1989. Prakash Ambedkar, a two-term MP from the seat in 1998 and 1999, when he won with the help of the Congress, is contesting as a candidate of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, a front of small parties. Akola, in the Vidarbha region, is a district where farmer suicides have been common.

2014 result: Sanjay Dhotre defeated Hidayat Patel by a margin of 203,116 votes.

West Bengal

Darjeeling

In the ring: Amar Singh Rai (TMC), Raju Singh Bisht (BJP), Shankar Malakar (Congress), Saman Pathak (CPM)

Quick take: Rai and Bisht are the two main contestants in the constituency that has been the site of a violent struggle by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to carve out a separate state of Gorkhaland. BJP won the seat in 2009 and 2014 with GJM’s support, but the morcha split in 2017, with one faction supporting the Trinamool Congress and the other, led by Bimal Gurung, backing the BJP.

2014 result: S S Ahluwalia (BJP) defeated Bhaichung Bhutia (TMC) by 197,239 votes.

Raiganj

In the ring: Md Salim (CPM), Deepa Dasmunsi (Congress), Deboshree Chawdhary (BJP), Kanaia Lal Agarwal (TMC)

Quick take: Raiganj was one of the two seats won by Left parties in Bengal in 2014. Since then the ground dynamics have changed and Salim, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo member, is facing a tough challenge from Deepa Dasmunsi of Congress, which has traditionally won from here. The population of the constituency is divided almost equally between Hindus and Muslims.

2014 result: Md Salim (CPM) defeated Deepa Dasmunsi (Congress) by a margin of 1,634 votes.

Karnataka

Tumkuru

In the ring: G S Basvaraj (BJP), H D Deve Gowda ( JD-S)

Quick take: Though the Congress had a sitting MP, S P Muddahanumegowda, in this constituency, it decided to hand over the seat to its ally Janata Dal (Secular) after former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda vacated his family pocket borough of Hassan in favour of his grandson Prajwal Revanna. Though the BJP will be hoping that dissatisfaction among the Congress rank and file will help it prevail, Deve Gowda may yet sail through

2014 result: Muddahanumegowda defeated Basvaraj by a margin of 74,041 votes.

Mandya

In the ring: Nikhil Kumaraswamy (JD-S), Sumalatha Ambareesh (Independent)

Quick take: The entry of Sumalatha, who is supported by the BJP, has made the contest interesting. Mandya was thought to be a cakewalk for Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil, considering his party won all eight assembly constituencies in this Vokkaliga heartland. A section of Congress leaders and workers have thrown their weight behind Sumalatha, making it a tougher fight for Nikhil.

2014 result: C S Puttaraju of JD-S defeated Ramya of Congress by 5,518 votes. L R Shivarame Gowda of Congress won by a margin of 308,997 votes against BJP’s D R Siddaramaiah in a by-election in 2018.

Bengaluru South

In the ring: Tejaswi Surya (BJP),B K Hari Prasad (Congress)

Quick take: Considered to be a prestigious constituency because it is a hub of the information technology industry, Bengaluru South elected BJP leader Anant Kumar or six consecutive terms. He died a few months ago. Surya, 28, is new to electoral politics and is facing senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member B K Hari Prasad.

2014 result: Anant Kumar of BJP defeated Nandan Nilekani of Congress by 228,575 votes

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 07:11 IST