National Elections Phase 6: Key Constituencies
A total of 59 constituencies are going to the polls in phase six. Five rounds of voting have already taken place accounting for 425 constituencies.
The general elections are slowly reaching the endpoint with phase six of voting set to place on May 12th. The first four rounds of voting, accounting for 374 constituencies, took place on April 11th, 18th, 23rd, and 29th, respectively. The fifth phase of voting took place on May 6th. Now, only the seventh and last phase of voting remains, which will take place on May 19th. Election results will be declared on May 23rd.
A total of 59 constituencies are going to the polls in phase six. Here are some of the more important constituencies.
Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is taking on the BJP’s Ramesh Chandra Kaushik, who won the Jat-dominated seat in 2014. Barring Kaushik, the top four candidates are from the Jat community. They are: Hooda, fledgling Jannayak Janata Party's (JJP) Digvijay Chautala and INLD's Surender Chhikara. Out of nine assembly segments in this parliamentary seat, four are dominated by Jat voters and two have almost an equal number of Jat and non-Jat voters.
Another Jat-dominated seat, Rohtak has long been considered to be a bastion of the Hooda family. Bhupinder’s son Deepender Singh Hooda is up for re-election from this seat, having fought the strong "Modi wave" to emerge as the only Congress leader in the state to make it to Lok Sabha in 2014. The Congress has won the Lok Sabha elections 11 out 17 times from this seat. The BJP has expended a lot of energy trying to break the grip of the Hooda family since and has fielded Arvind Sharma, a former Congress MP from Karnal.
North East Delhi, Delhi
North East Delhi is set witness a heavy duty contest between former chief minister Sheila Dikshit of the Congress and Delhi BJP unit chief Manoj Tiwari. It is home to a majority of migrant workers from different parts of the country. It is also the most densely populated constituency in the national capital. The Aam Aadmi Party, which rules the state, has fielded Dilip Pandey from the seat.
Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Comprising of the oldest parts of the city, Chandni Chowk is a historically important constituency. The seat was represented by Union minister Harsh Vardhan in 2014 and he is fighting the election again this year. He is up against Jai Prakash Aggarwal from the Congress, who has been a four-time Lok Sabha MP. AAP has fielded debutante Pankaj Gupta from the seat.
East Delhi, Delhi
East Delhi is the most urbanised constituency in Delhi after New Delhi. Here, an interesting battle is brewing between Atishi Marlena of the BJP and cricketer turned politician Gautam Gambhir. The Congress has fielded Arvinder Singh Lovely from the seat, a three-time MLA and a former minister in the Sheila Dikshit’s state government.
Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Represented by the ‘other’ Gandhis, Varun Gandhi won the seat for the BJP in 2014. However, this time, he switched seats with his mother, Union minister Maneka Gandhi. She is up against the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance which has a formidable presence in the constituency and has fielded Chandra Bhadra Singh alias Sonu Singh of the BSP. The congress candidate is the Raja’ of Amethi, Sanjay Sinh, who was the Sultanpur MP from 2009-14.
This seat was represented by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi in 2014. However, this time, the BJP denied him a ticket so he responded by writing an open letter to the people for the constituency, informing them about the party’s decision. The BJP has fielded former Congress leader Rita Bahuguna from the seat. This prestigious Lok Sabha seat has elected former prime ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and VP Singh, SP's Janeshwar Mishra. Bahuguna is pitted against Congress' Yogesh Shukla, who earlier belong to the BJP. The SP-BSP-RLD alliance has fielded SP's Rajendra Singh Patel.
This is seat is historically important as it was represented by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. It is considered a twin constituency of Allahabad as both fall in the same district. The BJP has fielded former zila panchayat chief Keshri Devi Patel while Pankaj Niranjan is fighting from the Congress. The SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate is Pandhari Yadav, forming the third corner of this triangular contest.
Considered as a bastion of the SP, Azamgarh is witnessing a Yadav versus Yadav battle. Of the 18 MPs elected in 16 general elections and two by-polls post-independence, 12 have been from the Yadav community. Azamgarh was one of the few parliamentary constituencies that did not get swept away in the 2014 Modi wave with the SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav winning from here. This time, his son Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from the seat. He is up against popular Bhojpuri actor Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’, fielded by the BJP.
Purvi Champaran, Bihar
Earlier known as Motihari, the seat has been represented by Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh. The five-term MP has already announced that this will be his last election. He is up against a relative new entrant, 27-year-old Akash Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) who is fighting the election in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress.
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
The Madhya Pradesh capital has been witness to a high voltage contest after the BJP fielded the controversial sadhvi, Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, against veteran Congress leader and former chief minister of the state, Digvijaya Singh. Thakur is an accused the Malegaon blast case and is currently out on bail. Her nomination caused much outcry with people wondering how can a terror accused fight elections? Bhopal has been a BJP bastion since 1989.
The seat was won by Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia in the middle of the Modi wave in 2014. Guna was one of the two seats in Madhya Pradesh which the Congress could manage to win then. Scindia has represented the seat since 2002. He is up against KP Yadav of the BJP, who was a trusted lieutenant of Scindia till 2018. He switched sides to the BJP earlier this year after the Congress denied him a ticket for the bypoll.