Updated March 16th, 2024 at 17:37 IST

Lok Sabha Election 2024: From Varanasi to Thiruvananthapuram, Key Contests to Look Out For

The schedule for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 announced today will see a number of high-profile electoral battles, starring veterans and debutants.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Edited by: Kriti Dhingra
The schedule for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 announced today will see a number of high-profile electoral battles, starring veterans and debutants. | Image:Republic Digital
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New Delhi: The schedule for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 announced today will see 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: 

VARANASI 

NARENDRA MODI VS ?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi for the third time. In 2014, he defeated the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal and won against Samajwadi Party's Shalini Yadav in 2019. The Congress is yet to announce its candidate from the high-profile constituency. In 2019, there was a buzz that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra might fight from Varanasi but the party fielded Ajay Rai, also its candidate from the constituency in 2014. Before PM Modi, the Varanasi seat was held by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.

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WAYANAD 

RAHUL GANDHI VS ANNIE RAJA

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will face CPI leader and women’s rights activist Annie Raja as he seeks a second term from Wayanad in Kerala. The contest has particularly aroused public interest since both the Congress and CPI are members of the INDI bloc. Annie Raja’s husband and party general secretary D Raja regularly shares the stage with Gandhi. In 2019, Gandhi was elected from the Wayanad constituency after he defeated PP Suneer of the CPI by an impressive 4.31 lakh votes. Annie Raja, general secretary of the party’s National Federation of Indian Women, is making her debut in the Lok Sabha elections.

AMETHI 

SMRITI IRANI VS ?

Amethi, once the pocket borough of the Gandhi family, has seen fierce contests in the last two Lok Sabha polls. While BJP leader Smriti Irani, who wrested the seat from Rahul Gandhi in 2019, is seeking a re-election from the constituency, the Congress has not yet announced its candidate from Amethi. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi represented Amethi in Parliament from 2004 till 2019. Party workers have been wanting him to contest from Amethi to win back the seat, represented earlier by his uncle Sanjay Gandhi, father Rajiv Gandhi and later, his mother Sonia Gandhi. This will be Irani's third Lok Sabha election from the constituency. In 2014, she had made her Lok Sabha polls debut but lost to Rahul Gandhi.

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM 

SHASHI THAROOR VS RAJEEV CHANDRASHEKHAR

Sitting MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor is seeking a re-election from Thiruvananthapuram for a fourth consecutive term. He will face BJP leader and Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who is making his Lok Sabha 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.

BAHARAMPUR 

ADHIR RANJAN CHOWDHURY VS YUSUF PATHAN

Former cricketer Yusuf Pathan has been 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 a Member of Parliament 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.

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NEW DELHI 

BANSURI SWARAJ VS SOMNATH BHARTI

The 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 AAP has fielded Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti from this 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.

RAJNANDGAON 

BHUPESH BAGHEL VS SANTOSH PANDEY

The Congress has 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. Interestingly, 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.

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CHURU 

RAHUL KASWAN VS DEVENDRA JHAJHARIA

Two-time MP from Churu Rahul Kaswan had resigned from the BJP last week and has been fielded by the Congress from the same seat. He is pitted against paralympic champion Devendra Jhajharia who will contest the election on a BJP ticket. Padma Bhushan javelin thrower, Jhajharia, is a two-time paralympics gold medallist and one-time silver medallist.

Kaswan is a third-generation Jat politician from Rajasthan's Shekhawati region. He became the youngest Lok Sabha member from the state at the age of 37 when he won the 2014 general elections by defeating Bahujan Samaj Party’s Abhinesh Maharshi. He had won with a record margin of 2.94 lakh votes in 2014, which was the highest-ever in Churu Lok Sabha constituency. He was an immediate successor of his father Ram Singh Kaswan, who represented the seat in Lok Sabha for four terms.

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WEST DELHI 

MAHABAL MISHRA VS KAMALJEET SEHRAWAT

Veteran Congress leader and former MP Mahabal Mishra is in the fray again but as an AAP candidate. The seat went to the AAP in alliance with the Congress. He was elected as Congress MP from West Delhi in 2009 by defeating BJP's Jagdish Mukhi. The BJP has replaced sitting MP Pravesh Verma and has fielded former South Delhi mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat. In 2019, Verma won this seat with the highest margin of 5,78,000 votes among all seven Lok Sabha seats of Delhi.

CHHINDWARA 

NAKUL NATH VS VIJAY KUMAR SAHU

Vivek 'Bunty' Sahu, who unsuccessfully contested the 2023 Assembly election against former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, will now challenge the Congress veteran’s son and sitting MP Nakul Nath in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Nakul Nath is seeking re-election from Chhindwara. The Chhindwara constituency has been Congress veteran and nine-time MP Kamal Nath's stronghold for over four decades. On the other hand, Vivek Sahu has, so far, contested from the Chhindwara Assembly constituency on the plank of "Chhindwara ka beta" in the last two elections, but failed to clinch it.

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THRISSUR 

K MURALIDHARAN VS SURESH GOPI

K Muralidharan, the Congress MP from Vatakara in Kerala, has been fielded from Thrissur in 2024 Lok Sabha Election. The move came days after Muralidharan's sister Padmaja Venugopal switched sides to the BJP. Muraleedharan and Padmaja are the children of late chief minister K Karunakaran. The BJP, on the other hand, has fielded actor-turned politician Suresh Gopi from Thrissur. The CPI had fielded VS Sunil Kumar, the former Agriculture minister, from the seat.

SHIVAMOGGA 

BY RAGHAVENDRA VS KS ESHWARAPPA

The Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka is considered the fortress of former chief minister BS Yediyurappa's family. This time, however, 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. This follows his son KE Kantesh not getting a party ticket to contest the Haveri Lok Sabha seat. 

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Published March 16th, 2024 at 17:37 IST