Lok Sabha elections 2024: From Rae Bareli to Thiruvananthapuram, key contests to watch for

All eyes will be on LS election results with a number of high-profile electoral battles, starring veterans and debutants.

ByPTI

Published Jun 03, 2024 | 12:48 PMUpdatedJun 03, 2024 | 12:48 PM

The new Parliament building. (Creative Commons)

All eyes will be on Lok Sabha election results on Tuesday, 4 June, with a number of high-profile electoral battles, starring veterans and debutants, formidable opponents and unlikely contestants.

Here are some key contests to watch out for:

Narendra Modi vs Ajay Rai in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested the Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi for the third time. In 2014, he defeated AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal and won against Samajwadi Party’s Shalini Yadav in 2019.

The Congress fielded Ajay Rai, also its candidate from the constituency in 2014 and 2019. Before Modi, the Varanasi seat was held by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.

Rahul Gandhi vs Dinesh Pratap Singh in Rae Bareli

Rahul Gandhi contested the Lok Sabha poll from Rae Bareli against BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh. He has been an MP thrice from Amethi and was defeated in 2019 by sitting MP Smriti Irani.

The seat, which until February was held by his mother Sonia Gandhi, has remained with the Congress since 1952 barring three elections — 1977, (Janata Party), 1996 and 1999 (BJP).

Rahul Gandhi vs Annie Raja in Wayanad

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is facing CPI leader and women’s rights activist Annie Raja as he seeks a second term from Wayanad in Kerala.

The contest has aroused public interest particularly since both the Congress and CPI are members of the INDIA alliance. In 2019, Gandhi was elected from the Wayanad constituency after he defeated PP Suneer of the CPI by an impressive 4.31 lakh votes.

Smriti Irani vs Kishori Lal Sharma in Amethi

Amethi, once the pocket borough of the Gandhi family, has seen fierce contests in the last two Lok Sabha polls. While BJP’s Smriti Irani, who wrested the seat from Rahul Gandhi in 2019, is seeking a re-election from the constituency, the Congress fielded Kishori Lal Sharma, a close aide of the Gandhi family.

It is the first time in 25 years that a Gandhi family member did not contest the election from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat.

Also Read: Three Titans lock horns in Thiruvananthapuram constituency

Shashi Tharoor vs Rajeev Chandrashekhar in Thiruvananthapuram

Sitting MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor is seeking a re-election from Thiruvananthapuram for a fourth consecutive term.

He is facing BJP leader and Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who made his Lok Sabha poll debut and wants to open the saffron party’s account in Kerala.

The other prominent leader in the contest is CPI’s Pannyan Raveendran, who had won the elections from the constituency in 2005.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury vs Yusuf Pathan in Baharampur

Former cricketer Yusuf Pathan was fielded by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) from the Baharampur constituency in West Bengal, a Congress stronghold currently held by its Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Chowdhury, the West Bengal Congress unit president, has represented Baharampur five times as an MP since he was first elected from the seat in 1999. He is gearing up to seek a sixth term from the constituency. The Congress has not yet announced its candidate from the seat.

Bansuri Swaraj vs Somnath Bharti in New Delhi

BJP has replaced two-time MP and Union minister of state Meenakshi Lekhi from this seat with Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of late Union minister Sushma Swaraj.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielded Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti from the seat. With the Congress and AAP contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance in the national capital, the contest in the high-profile constituency has acquired added significance and urgency.

Also Read: ‘Not scared’, says KS Eshwarappa after BJP expels him for 6 years

Bhupesh Baghel vs Santosh Pandey in Rajnandgaon

Congress fielded its former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel from the Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat in Chhattisgarh, a BJP bastion for more than three decades and seen as the turf of its former three-time CM Raman Singh.

He is locked in a contest with BJP’s sitting MP Santosh Pandey. The BJP hasn’t lost this seat since 2009. The Congress has put one of its strong candidates in an attempt to break the convention and win from the BJP’s stronghold.

Rahul Kaswan vs Devendra Jhajharia in Churu

Two-time MP from Churu Rahul Kaswan resigned from BJP ahead of the polls and was fielded by the Congress from the same seat.

He is pitted against paralympic champion Devendra Jhajharia who contested the election from BJP. Padma Bhushan javelin thrower, Jhajharia is a two-time paralympics gold medallist and one-time silver medallist.

Nakul Nath vs Vijay Kumar Sahu in Chhindwara

Vivek ‘Bunty’ Sahu, who unsuccessfully contested the 2023 Assembly election against former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, challenged the Congress veteran’s son and sitting MP Nakul Nath in the Lok Sabha elections.

Nakul Nath is seeking re-election from Chhindwara which has been Congress veteran and nine-time MP Kamal Nath’s stronghold for more than four decades.

BY Raghavendra vs Ks Eshwarappa in Shivamogga

The Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka is considered the fortress of former chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s family.

However, this time it is all set for a dramatic turn of events. BJP senior leader and OBC face KS Eshwarappa is contesting as an independent candidate against party veteran BS Yediyurappa’s son BY Raghavendra for the Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)