New Delhi: With counting of votes to begin in a few hours, some seats would be in the limelight for their political significance or for the candidates battling for them. Here’s a look at some of these seats:
Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the maximum number of MPs, 80, to Lok Sabha, has many seats which have seen spirited battle among heavyweights. Varanasi is PM Modi’s constituency and he is defending the seat from Congress’ Ajai Rai whose candidature was announced after days of speculation over that of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s.
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Campaigning in his constituency, PM Modi had even said that while he was going away, he was sure that each resident would be fighting the election on his behalf.
In the capital city of Lucknow, Home Minister Rajnath Singh is pitted against SP’s Poonam Sinha and Congress’ Acharya Krishnam. General V K Singh is the party candidate from Ghaziabad.
Another minister, Smriti Irani, is pitted against Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. Minister Maneka Gandhi is contesting from Sultanpur this time after vacating her traditional seat of Pilibhit for her son Varun Gandhi.
Azamgarh is another battle which would be watched. Here, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is contesting and has BJP’s Dinesh Yadav aka Nirahua against him.
SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is contesting from Mainpuri again. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is contesting from her traditional seat of Rae Bareli.
In Rampur, former SP leader and actor-turned-politician from BJP, Jaya Prada, is pitted against SP’s Azam Khan. Campaigning here saw Khan making sexist comments on his rival and had to be banned by the EC for the same.
In Madhya Pradesh, former CM Digvijaya Singh is pitted against BJP’s Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who has been in the eye of the storm ever since her candidature was announced.
In J&K, MoS Jitendra Singh is defending his Udhampur seat.
In Kerala, K J Alphons was one of the contenders for the much sought after Pathanamthitta constituency, but the saffron party fielded him from Ernakulam which is held by Congress’ P V Thomas.
Jaipur Rural has Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathod, the sitting MP, defending his seat. He is the MoS (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Kiren Rijiju is fighting to return to Parliament from Arunachal West seat.
Nitin Gadkari is contesting these elections from his Nagpur seat. He is pitted against Congress’ Nana Patole.
BJP chief Amit Shah is fighting these elections from Ahmedabad, the traditional seat of L K Advani who is not contesting this time.
Meanwhile, in Karnataka, Tejasvi Surya is the BJP’s candidate in Bangalore South. The 28-year-old lawyer is also the state general secretary for the Karnataka BJP’s youth wing and also a party spokesperson.
He is also the youngest candidate to have been fielded by the saffron party. He is known for his polarising speeches and is closely associated with the RSS.