Eleven states. One union territory. Ninety five constituencies. That’s what is in the fray in the second round of voting in the seven-phase electoral exercise slated for Thursday, 18 April.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and a host of Union ministers, among others, canvassed extensively for their party candidates contesting in the second phase, undertaking tours of the constituencies.
Among the key contestants in the fray for phase 2 are Union ministers Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, Congress leaders Veerappa Moily and Raj Babbar, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi, and actor-turned-politicians Hema Malini and Prakash Raj.
Election 2019: Key Contestants for Phase 2 Polling
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Tamil Nadu (38 Seats)
- In Tamil Nadu, the electoral battle is largely between the two fronts led by the Dravidian majors and the AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran, an AIADMK rival. However, the fledgling Makkal Needhi Maiam of actor-politician Kamal Hassan will also be testing its fortunes in the second phase of voting.
- The AIADMK is contesting as part of the NDA, the alliance comprising BJP, PMK, DMDK and Tamil Maanila Congress, among others.
- The DMK has formed a “Secular Progressive Alliance”, comprising the Congress and Left parties.
- In Sivaganga, Karti Chidambaram (INC-DMK alliance) has been pitted against H Raja (BJP-AIDMK alliance).
- In Chennai, 50-year-old transgender candidate M Radha is fighting the election as an Independent and is keen on raising women’s issues in the Lok Sabha if elected.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Puducherry (1 Seat)
- In Puducherry, 18 candidates are contesting the lone seat in Parliament, including senior Congress leader Vaithilingam, doctor-turned-politician K Narayanasamy (AINRC), former AIADMK MLA MAS Subramanian (Makkal Needhi Maiam), among others.
- There are also two women contestants in the fray.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Maharashtra (10 Seats)
- Over 3.36 crore voters are expected to decide the fate of 179 candidates, including former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde in the 10 constituencies in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra.
- This time, the BJP and Shiv Sena are contesting four seats each, while the Congress and NCP are contesting five and four seats respectively. The NCP has supported an ally in Amravati.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Uttar Pradesh (8 Seats)
- There are 85 candidates in the fray in Thursday’s polling in eight seats – Nagina (7), Amroha (10), Bulandshahr (9), Aligarh (14), Hathras (8), Mathura (13), Agra (9) and Fatehpur Sikri (15).
- Among the candidates in the fray in UP in the second phase are two actors-turned-politicians – BJP’s Hema Malini, who is contesting from Mathura, and UP Congress chief Raj Babbar, who has been fielded from Fatehpur Sikri.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Odisha (5 Seats)
- In Odisha, besides the five Lok Sabha seats, polling will also be held for 35 Assembly constituencies.
- Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is contesting from his home turf Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh.
- While there are five women candidates in the Lok Sabha seats, 25 women are in the fray for the Assembly segments.
- The ruling BJD has re-nominated sitting MP Kalikesh Singh Deo from the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat, while the BJP has fielded three-time MP Sangeeta Singh Deo, wife of veteran saffron leader KV Singhdeo. The Congress has nominated newbie Samrendra Mishra, son of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra, to take on the heavyweights.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Karnataka (14 Seats)
- There are 241 candidates in the fray in the 14 constituencies out of the 28 in Karnataka which are going to the polls on 18 April.
- The main contest will be between the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) alliance. While BJP is contesting on 13 seats, Congress and JD(S) have fielded its candidates in 10 and four constituencies respectively.
- Prominent contestants in this phase include former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda (Tumkur), his grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Hassan and Mandya respectively, Union Minister Sadananda Gowda (Bangalore North) and senior Congress leader Verappa Moily (Chikkaballapura).
- Mandya is the constituency that has hogged most of the limelight with Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil in the fray against independent candidate and actor Sumalatha Ambareesh, who has BJPs support.
- Actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj will be contesting from the Bangalore Central constituency as an independent. He would be up against two-time MP PC Mohan of the BJP and Congress’ Rizwan Arshad.
Popular Indian actor Prakash Raj.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Assam (5 Seats)
- Polling in Assam will be held to decide the fate of 50 candidates, including three prominent women candidates – Congress leader Sushmita Dev and Nazia Yasmin Mazumdar of National Peoples Party contesting in Silchar, and Swarnalata Chaliha of the SUCI(C) fighting from Mangaldoi.
- Karimganj (SC) constituency has the highest number of candidates (14) with sitting AIUDF MP Radheyshyam Biswas pitted against his BJP rival and MLA Kripanath Mallah along with Congress candidate Swarup Das.
- In neighbouring Silchar constituency, there are 13 candidates with sitting Congress MP and All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev in direct contest with BJP nominee and MLA Rajdeep Roy.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Jammu & Kashmir (2 Seats)
- In Jammu & Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah is seeking a fourth term in the lower house of Parliament from the Srinagar seat. Abdullah is pitched against political greenhorns Aga Moshin of the PDP, Irfan Ansari of the People’s Conference and Khalid Jehangir of the BJP.
- In Udhampur, the BJP has fielded Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh, while Congress has fielded Vikramaditya Singh.Tilak Raj Bhagat is contesting from BSP while Shiv Sena has fielded Meenakshi.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: West Bengal (3 Seats)
- In West Bengal, the TMC has fielded Bijoy Chandra Barman against BJP’s Jayanta Kumar Roy in Jalpaiguri constituency, whereas Moni Kumar Darnal of Congress and Bhagirath Chandra Roy of CPI(M) are also in the fray.
- In Darjeeling, the TMC nominated Amar Singh Rai who will fight against Raju Bisht of BJP, Sankar Malakar of Congress and Saman Pathak of CPI(M).
- TMC has nominated Kanhaiyalal Agarwal in Raiganj seat against MD Salim of CPI(M), Deepa Dasmunshi of Congress and Debashree Chowdhury of BJP.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Bihar (5 Seats)
- In Bihar, former Union minister Tariq Anwar, who had won Katihar on an NCP ticket five years ago, is contesting as a Congress nominee this time from the constituency. The JD(U) candidate is Dulal Chandra Goswami.
- In Bhagalpur, sitting RJD MP Shailesh Kumar alias Bulo Mandal would seek to retain the seat, with the main challenge coming from JD(U)’s Ajay Mandal.
- In Purnia, sitting JD(U) MP Santosh Kumar Kushwaha is again in the fray while Uday Singh, who won the seat on a BJP ticket in 2009 but lost the seat five years later, is the Congress candidate this time.
Lok Sabha Elections – Phase 2: Chhattisgarh (3 Seats)
- A total of 36 candidates are in the fray from the Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Kanker (ST) seats in Chhattisgarh.
- The BJP has fielded Santosh Pandey, general secretary of the state unit, in the high-profile Rajnandgaon seat, as it denied a ticket to sitting MP Abhishek Singh, son of former chief minister Raman Singh. Pandey is pitted against former Congress MLA Bholaram Sahu.
- In Naxal-hit Kanker seat, the BJP has denied renomination to MP Vikram Usendi, incumbent president of its state unit, and fielded a fresh face, Mohan Mandavi. The Congress has pinned its hopes on Biresh Thakur, also a fresh face.