1. Sushma Swaraj: Considered to be the most powerful woman leader in BJP, Sushma Swaraj is the sitting MP from Vidisha MP. The constituency of Vidisha has been a BJP bastion since 1989 and in 2009 Sushma Swaraj won this seat with a huge margin when the nomination of her main rival from Congress was cancelled. But Congress has made sure this time that it gives a tough fight to this senior leader of BJP by fielding Laxman Singh against her. Laxman Singh is the former MP and Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh’s brother. So retaining this seat won’t be so easy for Sushma Swaraj but Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh has himself been seen campaigning here. Plus the Modi effect can also be an advantage for this BJP leader here in Vidisha.
2. Priya Dutt: Priya Dutt of Congress is trying to hit a hatrick in this Lok Sabha Election but the competition is going to be neck to neck this time in Mumbai North-Central. BJP has pitched Poonam Mahajan- daughter of late Pramod Mahajan against Priya that will surely prove to be a tough fight. This contest is believed to be of ideologies and a fight of dynasties. Priya Dutt has the disadvantage of the Congress anti-incumbency at the Centre and the issues of slums in Mumbai. Other candidates in the fray are Farhan Azmi of SP and Phiroz Palkhivala of AAP in this constituency of Mumbai North-Central that has generally supported Congress in the past.
3. Hema Malini: Hema Malini was member of the Rajya Sabha between 2003 and 2009 but this is her debut for the Lok Sabha election. Hema Malini was given the Lok Sabha ticket by BJP from the constituency of Mathura, UP considered to be very important. The Bollywood actress turned politician is banking on the women voters of Mathura, her stardom effect and of course on the popularity of Narendra Modi. Her daughter and son-in-law were seen campaigning in Mathura for her and even Narendra Modi addressed people in UP and asked people to support Hema Malini. She is pitched against RLD candidate Jayant Chaudhary, a Jat leader and sitting MP from Mathura. Whether the star is able to turn her fanfare into votes or not, will be decided tomorrow.
4. A. Raja: A Raja of DMK will be fighting the Lok Sabha Elections from the seat of Nilgiri, Tamil Nadu. Raja is one of the main accused in corruption charges of the 2G scam. While the ruling AIADMK and BJP have been making the 2G scam against Raja their main poll plank in this hill station, the DMK leader and the party’s Dalit face is interestingly using it to his own advantage for the April 24 polls. His main rival AIDMK has fielded C Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Coonoor Municipality against him. Gopalakrishan is banking on the achievements of the three-year-old Jayalalithaa government. A. Raja is still hopeful of his victory and people also seem to be more interested about their daily needs rather than the 2G scam. AAP has fielded academician M T Rani from the this seat of Tamil Nadu while the BJP candidate’s S Gurumurthy was disqualified by Election Commission for lack of documents.
5. Mohd Azharuddin: Former cricketer and Congress candidate Mohd Azharuddin would be contesting against BJP’s Sukhbhir Singh Jaunpuria on Tonk-Sawaimadhopur seat in this Lok Sabha Election. He is the current MP from Moradabad, UP from 2009. Azharuddin joined Congress in 2009 and soon won the Moradabad seat. Azharuddin is facing tough contest from Sukhbir Singh Jaunpuria of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jagmohan Meena of the National People’s Party and Independent candidate Makhan Lal Meena. Although this constituency has been a stronghold of Congress but the issue of development might drift the voters to other parties this time.
6. Medha Patkar: Social activist turned politician, Medha Patkar recently joined AAP and is the Lok Sabha candidate from North East Mumbai constituency of Maharashtra. She is facing stiff competition from Sanjay Dina Patil of NCP & Kirit Somaiya of the BJP. Banking on her strong activist image and having worked for social causes like Narmada bachao Andolan, Narmada is confident that she will win this seat for her party that will end corruption and help the poor of the country. Anna Hazare also recently announced his support for Medha Patkar. The current MP from this seat is Sanjay Dina Patil of the NCP. AAP is banking heavily on this seat and the credibility of this social worker turned politician.
7. Milind Deora: Current Congress MP Milind Deora is fighting the election against banker-turned politician Meera Sanyal from the Aam Aadmi Party, Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena and Bala Nandgaonkar of the MNS for the constituency of South Mumbai. Milind Deora who is one of the youngest MP’s in Parliament is hopeful of his 3rd victory. But his competitors are also campaigning hard to communicate to the people and tell them that they have options. The anti-incumbency of Congress at the Centre might be a disadvantage for this young MP but he is confident that people from his constituency will see his work and vote for him. Adding to this, business leaders like Adi Godrej, Deepak Parekh and Uday Kotak, trade associations and individual investors have come out in support of Milind Deora as well.
8.Mani Shankar Aiyar: Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar who is contesting from the Mayiladuthurai Lok Sabha seat in Tamil Nadu is confident of winning considering his opponents not very likeable by the people. Mani Shankar Aiyar, current Rajya Sabha MP is a familiar face to the Mayilardutharai electorate, having contested from the constituency seven times. He has won three times in the past. While Mayiladuthurai has predominantly been a Congress seat, Aiyar was defeated by AIADMK’s OS Manian in the last general elections in 2009. AIADMK has fielded RK Bharathi Mohan in Mayiladuthurai as Jayalalithaa is heavily banking on the victory of last Assembly elections. Muslim voters form a sizeable portion of the electorate in Mayiladuthurai and MMK hopes to easily win the seat. Aiyar’s seat is not going to be as smooth as he thinks it to be.
9. Amar Singh: The popular politician Amar Singh who recently joined RLD after a rift with SP is fighting this Lok Sabha election from Fatehpur Sikri rural seat. Amar Singh, in the past few days, has been holding road shows with film stars like Jaya Prada, Sridevi, Boney Kapoor, Raza Murad and Asrani. The BJP’s Choudhary Babu Lal, Samajwadi Party’s Pakshalika Singh and Laxmi Choudhary of the Aam Aadmi Party are also in the fray from Fatehpur Sikri. This seat is dominated by Jats, Thakurs and Muslims and yet Seema Upadhyaya of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won it in 2009, defeating Raj Babbar of the Congress. Whether this pulling in of stars will shine the stars of Amar Singh or not, will be sealed by the voters tomorrow in the 6th phase of the elections. But so far the situation does not seem to be in favour of this politician.
10. Dayanidhi Maran: DMK leader and former Union minister for communications, Dayanidhi Maran is the sitting MP from central Chennai. Seeking his third term from this constituency, the seat has been with the Maran family since 1996 with Dayanidhi winning from Chennai central in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Dayanidhi Maran who is being investigated for the 2G spectrum scam has kept a low profile this election largely. Chennai central will witness a five-cornered fight with Maran up against AIADMK’s SR Vijayakumar, who will be riding on the popularity of Jayalalithaa. The AAP has also fielded the social activist J Prabhakar from this seat counting on its anti-corruption agenda. Definitely Maran will not have an easy election this time when corruption is becoming one of the main issues in this Lok Sabha Election.