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Gambhir, Vijender, Pragya.. candidates to watch out for in Phase 6

May 12, 2019 07:58 IST

Over 10.17 crore voters across seven states will decided the fate 979 candidates in the sixth phase of polling on Sunday in 59 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The elections in this phase are seen as a big test for the Bharatiya Janata Party which had won 45 of these seats in 2014, with the Trinamool Congress bagging 8, the Congress two and the Samajwadi Party and the Lok Janshakti Party one seat each among others.

Elections will be held in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 seats in Haryana, eights constituencies each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, seven seats in Delhi and four in Jharkhand.

Here are some of the political leaders' who await their fate.

 

>> Gautam Gambhir

After notching accolades for India in cricket, Gautam Gambhir is starting his political innings from the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket. Up against him are Aam Aadmi Party's Atishi, who is credited with the revamp of Delhi government schools, and Congress's Arvinder Singh Lovely, who has a strong grasp on local issues and enjoys a good support base.

>> Atishi   

Hailed for her role in transforming Delhi government schools, AAP's Atishi is a favourite from East Delhi and enjoys considerable goodwill and support for her work in the field of education. However, Gambhir pose difficult challenges for the AAP candidate.

>> Akhilesh Yadav  

In Azamgarh this time, Akhilesh is trying to retain his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav's seat against Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua' of the BJP.  The SP president's decision to contest from his father's bastion is being touted as a move to consolidate the Yadav, Dalit and Muslim voters in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh. Since 1996, only Muslims and Yadavs have won the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat.

>> Maneka Gandhi

Sultanpur is seeing an interesting contest as the BJP has fielded Union minister Maneka Gandhi for the seat won by her son Varun in 2014. The seats appear tricky for Maneka Gandhi as BJP strategists are relying on a division of Congress and gathbandhan votes, besides possible counter-polarisation of non-Yadav and non-Jatav Dalit and OBC votes.

>> Pragya Singh Thakur

The Bhopal seat will see an interesting fight between senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and Hindutva activist and Malegaon blast case accused Pragya Thakur. Thakur, who joined the race for Bhopal almost a month after Digvijaya Singh's candidature was finalised, is no longer just a candidate, but has become an election issue. Many have raised questions over her candidature, wondering if someone who's out on bail in a terror case should be allowed to contest elections. 

>> Digvijaya Singh 

The Congress veteran is fighting a tough battle in Bhopal against Pragya Thakur. Singh peddled the 'soft Hindutva' line by roping in seers, including Computer Baba who conducted 'hath yoga' for his victory.

>> Jyotiraditya Scindia

Jyotiraditya Scindia has held the Guna seat in Madhya Pradesh since 2002 and there is little evidence that he will be toppled this time around. Scindia, who is also the Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh West, is up against BJP’s KP Yadav. Guna is a Scindia stronghold and the seat has been held by the Congress leader’s father and grandmother in the past. 

>> Sheila Dikshit

After the long-drama of Congress-AAP alliance in New Delhi which ultimately fell through, both parties decided to go solo in the national capital, making it a triangular contest with the BJP. Delhi Congress president and former chief minister Shiela Dikshit is hoping to make a political comeback from the North East Delhi seat. She is up against AAP’s Dilip Pandey and BJP’s Manoj Tiwari, the incumbent MP from North East Delhi.

>> Vijender Singh

Professional boxer Vijendra Singh is up against AAp's Raghav Chadha and BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri in his political bout. The Congress would be hoping that Singh, a Jat from neighbouring Bhiwani, Harayana, would polarise the community votes. South Delhi has a sizable Jat population. Bidhuri, a Gujjar, would in turn galvanise the Gujjars in his favour. Singh is also a poplar celebrity and a campaign push from Priyanka Gandhi is likely to help him as well.

>> Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a sitting MLA of Congress from Rohtak district, is once again trying his luck to enter the lower House, this time from Sonipat. Earlier, Hooda had remained a four-time MP from Rohak parliamentary constituency.

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