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Phase 5 of Lok Sabha polls to decide fate of Rahul Gandhi, Smriti Irani, Rajnath Singh among others

First Published: 20th May, 2024 7:47 IST

Of the 49 Lok Sabha seats, 14 are from Uttar Pradesh, 13 from Maharashtra, 7 from West Bengal, 5 from Bihar, 3 from Jharkhand, 5 from Odisha, and one each

Voting for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, which covers 49 seats across six states and two union territories (UTs), is set to decide the electoral fate of leaders from some of the high-profile constituencies, including Raebareli, Amethi, and Lucknow.
Of the 49 Lok Sabha seats, 14 are from Uttar Pradesh, 13 from Maharashtra, 7 from West Bengal, 5 from Bihar, 3 from Jharkhand, 5 from Odisha, and one each from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The fifth phase will witness key contests in various constituencies.
Leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Piyush Goyal, Ujjwal Nikam, Karan Bhushan Singh, LJP (Ramvilas) chief Chirag Paswan, JKNC chief Omar Abdullah, and RJD leader Rohini Acharya will be seeking electoral success.
Key candidates and constituencies in Phase 5 polls:

Raebareli:
Rahul Gandhi, who also contested the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, is facing Congress defector and three-time MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh of the BJP in Raebareli. Rahul represented Amethi from 2004 until 2019.
In her first public address in the ongoing election campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, Congress leader and AICC President Sonia Gandhi urged the people of Raebarelli to accept his son Rahul Gandhi just like they accepted her, while assuring that “he won’t disappoint them”.
“I am very happy that I got the opportunity to come among you after so long…You all gave me the opportunity to serve you as an MP, this is the biggest treasure of my life. For the last 100 years, the roots of our family have been connected to the soil of this land. This relationship is as pure as Ganga Maa. It started with the farmer’s agitation for Awadh and Raebareli,” Sonia Gandhi said, addressing the public meeting.
Sonia Gandhi held the seat for four consecutive terms since 2004, before she took the Rajya Sabha route to the Parliament this year.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed confidence on Wednesday that BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh will defeat Rahul Gandhi here and took a dig at the Congress leader, stating that he should have told people of Wayanad in Kerala that he will contest from two seats.
“Anyone can contest from anywhere, but Rahul Gandhi should have said before the elections that he is going to contest on two seats. I think, from a democratic point of view, it is not right to hide it. He should have told the people of Wayanad about it and then asked them to make their choice. When you see a threat in a post-poll survey, and then you come to Raebaerli, I think it is not correct,” he said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Uttar Pradesh paves the way for the country, and the BJP will face its heaviest defeat here.
“INDIA Alliance and Akhilesh Yadav are going to win here. I give it to you in writing, a storm of INDIA Alliance is coming to Uttar Pradesh. I give it to you in writing, BJP is going to face its biggest defeat in the country, here in Uttar Pradesh,” Gandhi said.
“Uttar Pradesh has made up its mind that a change has to set in here, that a change has to set in in India, and that is why the decision has been made. The public has made up its mind,” he added.
Amethi:
Congress leader Kishori Lal Sharma, also the Gandhi family’s close aide, has been fielded against Smriti Irani in Amethi.
Congress leader Kishori Lal Sharma has expressed confidence in winning the polls.
“Not contesting to lose. I have faith in the alliance,” Sharma said in an interview with ANI.
He said that the Amethi constituency was developed by the Gandhi family and urged voters to vote for the INDIA bloc based on their development work.
“The Gandhi family developed this constituency. Vote for us based on our development work and our (the Gandhi family’s) legacy. Vote for them (BJP) for the development work they have done,” he said.
Kishori Lal Sharma, a close associate and loyalist of the Gandhi family, is originally from Punjab’s Ludhiana. He has been working for the Congress Party in Amethi for years.
BJP candidate Smriti Irani said that people in the constituency have understood that development is possible when the leader has good character and the government has clarity in its policies.
“The people of Amethi have accepted me as their family. I am a voter in Amethi now. The people have understood that if the government is clear with its policy and the leader has good character, then a lot of development is possible in very little time,” Smriti Irani told ANI here on Monday.
The Amethi seat has been represented by Rahul since 2004, and he remained a member of Parliament from the constituency until 2019. His father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, too, was an elected member of Amethi in the Lower House from 1981 till his death in 1991.
Sonia Gandhi contested elections from there in 1999 before passing the baton on to Rahul in 2004.
Lucknow:
Defence Minister and BJP candidate Rajnath Singh will face Samajwadi Party candidate Ravidas Mehrotra in this seat. Rajnath Singh will be aiming for a third straight win in Lucknow.
Rajnath Singh in 2019 had defeated Samajwadi Party Poonam Shatrughan Sinha with over 6.3 lakh votes. He had defeated Congress candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi by a margin of 2,72,749 votes in 2014.
Rajnath Singh said that he tried to fulfil the dreams of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and left no stone unturned for the city’s development.
“We have diligently worked towards realising Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji’s vision for Lucknow, and we remain committed to advancing it further in the future. Lucknow currently ranks tenth globally, and we aim to elevate it to the fifth position,” Singh said.
Mumbai North:
The BJP has fielded Union Minister Piyush Goyal against Congress’ Bhushan Patil from the Mumbai North seat.Union Minister and BJP candidate from Mumbai North, Piyush Goyal, expressed confidence in the party’s victory.
“I have faith in the work done under PM Modi’s 10 years of governance. The public has made up its mind to give 400+ seats to PM Modi and the Mumbai North parliamentary seat will be won with a record margin,” Goyal said.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gopal Shetty from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Lok Sabha seat, defeating Congress actor-politician Urmila Matondkar by over 4.65 lakh votes. There were 16.47 lakh eligible voters in the 2019 elections from this constituency.
Congress candidate Bhushan Patil said that him being a local will benefit his constituency.”There are a lot of issues which need to be solved in my constituency. Piyush Goyal is a high-profile personality and meeting him is a bit difficult for common people I am local and connected to the people of the area, which will be a beneficial thing for me,” he said.
Mumbai North Central:
In a bid to retain the sitting seat, the BJP has fielded 26/11 special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, replacing two-time MP Poonam Mahajan against Congress’ Varsha Gaikwad from Maharashtra’s Mumbai North Central Lok Sabha seat.
Varsha Gaikwad is currently serving as Dharavi MLA. Nikam, a senior Public Prosecutor, has appeared for the government in several high-profile cases, including the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.
On his candidature, Nikam called it an “important step” in his life.
“For the common masses, Prime Minister Modi has worked a lot. He has increased the prestige of the country around the globe and he wants to contribute to his vision. No one can call our nation a banana country. I am not in politics for any gain. I have fought against organised crime, I have never fought from the accused side ever. A post as public prosecutor was not even well known in those days. I am glad I could put a stamp on it,” Ujjwal Nikam told ANI during one of his campaigns.
Kaiserganj:
After dropping sitting MP Brij Bhushan Singh from the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat and going with his son Karan Bhushan Singh, the move from the Bharatiya Janata Party retains the seat’s contest within the family, highlighting the influence of the six-time Member of Parliament.
The 67-year-old BJP’s strong man was not given a ticket in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as the former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief has been accused of sexual harassment by six women wrestlers, who had protested against him for a long period last year. Earlier this month, a Delhi court ordered that charges be levied against him.
Brij Bhushan Singh’s son Karan Bhushan Singh is in the electoral fray against the Samajwadi Party’s candidate Ram Bhagat Mishra, the elder brother of Shravasti zila panchayat president and former BJP MP from Shravasti, Daddan Mishra, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Narendra Pandey.
Karan, Singh’s younger son, will look to keep the family’s hold on the seat tight, with his father Brij Bhushan having won from there six times, while his mother Ketaki was also a former MP from Gonda. Brij Bhushan’s elder son, Prateek, was also an MLA from Gonda twice.
In the 2019 election, Brij Bhusan Singh got 5,81,358 votes, beating BSP candidate 3,19,757.
Hajipur:
LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan is aiming to carry forward father Ram Vilas Paswan’s legacy. He is pitted against RJD’s Shiv Chandra Ram.
From 1977 to 2014, the seat was won eight times by Ram Vilas Paswan, who lost only twice, in 1984 and 2009.
Chirag’s decision to shift his constituency from Jamui to Hajipur, which has been a stronghold for the LJP, is aimed at asserting his position as the political heir to his father.
In the 2019 elections, LJP candidate and Chirag Paswan’s uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras emerged victorious, securing the seat for the first time, defeating RJD’s Shiv Chandra Ram with a margin of 2,05,449 votes.
Saran:
Rohini Acharya, the daughter of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, is contesting against BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy. The BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy recorded resounding wins against Lalu Prasad’s kin in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, he defeated former CM Rabri Devi, wife of Lalu Yadav, from Saran. In the 2019 polls, he trounced Chandrika Rai, the father-in-law of Lalu’s son, Tej Pratap Yadav.
Dismissing the Opposition claims, the BJP’s Saran Lok Sabha candidate and former Union Minister, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said the electoral outcome in Bihar was a foregone conclusion as his party was well on course to win all 40 seats in the state.
“As far as I can see, there is no election in Bihar, as we are well on the way to winning all 40 seats in the state and are also confident of sailing past 400 seats across the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, RJD leader Rohini Acharya has criticized the BJP’s manifesto, saying the issue of employment has disappeared from it.
“They should raise the issues of the people. The issue of employment has disappeared from the BJP’s manifesto. They are only targeting Lalu Prasad’s family,” she said.
Baramulla National Conference (NC) leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah is pitted against Sajad Lone of the Peoples Conference (PC) and Mir Mohammad Fayaz of Peoples Democratic Party.
People’s Conference President Sajad Lone slammed the National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah, and urged the people of Kashmir to stop him from humiliating the region by defeating him from the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.
Lone said, “Let him stop humiliating the people of Kashmir. I am 100 per cent sure that for all this humiliation, he will get a gift on the result day. If there has been a saffron debut, then it was for Omar Abdullah.
He was a minister whose party had passed an autonomy resolution that the Vajpayee government rejected in Parliament, and he still stayed as a minister for two years.” (ANI)

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