In the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls 2019, 51 parliamentary constituencies across seven states are going to vote. The polling will happen in parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal.
Some of these constituencies are strong bastion for national political parties, some are facing anti-incumbency while some are known to be bellwether seats. Considering these aspects, here are such key constituencies that are polling in phase 5:
Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh
Key candidates: Sonia Gandhi (Congress), Dinesh Partap Singh (BJP)
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi is contesting from this constituency, which has been the party’s bastion for long. Earlier, Congress’ Indira Gandhi had also contested and won from Rae Bareli.
In 2014, Sonia Gandhi won from this constituency after defeating BJP’s Ajay Agarwal by a whopping margin of 42 per cent or 3.5 lakh votes. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi is up against BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh.
Amethi, Uttar Pradesh
Key candidates: Rahul Gandhi (Congress), Smriti Irani (BJP)
Amethi is yet another constituency where the Congress has a strong hold. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has been winning from this constituency since 2004. The seat was earlier represented by his father Rajiv Gandhi and uncle Sanjay Gandhi.
In 2014, BJP’s Smriti Irani gave a tough fight to Rahul Gandhi and reduced his winning margin significantly to over 1 lakh votes. Even in this election, Gandhi and Irani are facing each other.
Key candidates: Jayant Sinha (BJP), Gopal Sahu (Congress)
Union minister and the BJP leader Jayant Sinha is the key contender contesting from Hazaribagh, where the party has been in power for most of the times since Jharkhand was formed. Earlier, his father, Yashwant Sinha, had also contested from this constituency.
In 2014, Sinha defeated Congress’ Saurabh Narain Singh by a margin of 16.45 per cent or 1.6 lakh votes. This time, he is up against Congress’ Gopal Sahu.
Key candidates: Sanjay Seth (BJP), Subodh Kant Sahay (Congress), Ram Tahal Choudhary (IND)
Ranchi is one of the key constituencies as it is a bellwether seat. Bellwether constituencies are the ones that vote for a political party that eventually forms the government at the Centre. There is no scientific basis to this but historical data shows that bellwether constituencies usually act as a marker for the final results.
Ram Tahal Choudhary, who has won this seat five-times as a BJP member, is contesting this time as an independent. Choudhary is likely to cut into the votes of BJP’s Sanjay Seth. In 2014, Choudhary won by a margin of 1.9 lakh votes after defeating Congress’ Subodh Kant Sahay.
Key candidates: Arjun Ram Meghwal (BJP), Madangopal Meghwal (Congress) and Shopat Ram (CPI(M))
Rajasthan’s Bikaner constituency is important as the two national parties — Congress and BJP — have been contesting directly here since 1980.
In the Lok Sabha polls 2019, BJP’s Arjun Ram Meghwal is contesting from Bikaner again. Meghwal won from this constituency by a 33 per cent margin in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after defeating Congress’ Shankar Pannu. This time, he will be competing Congress’ Madangopal Meghwal and CPI(M)’s Shopat Ram.
Satna, Madhya Pradesh
Key candidates: Raja Ram Tripathi (INC), Ganesh Singh (BJP)
In Satna, the BJP has been in power for over 20 years. In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the BJP has fielded Ganesh Singh, who has been in power since 2004. However, his winning margins in 2004 and 2009 was below 10,000 votes.
Singh will be facing Congress candidate Raja Ram Tripathi in this election.
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Key candidates: Rajnath Singh (BJP), Acharya Pramod Krishnam (INC), Poonam Singh (SP)
In Lucknow, Union home minister Rajnath Singh is contesting from the BJP again. In 2014, he won the seat after defeating Congress candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi by a margin of 26 per cent or 2.6 lakh votes.
Singh will be up against Samajwadi Party’s Poonam Sinha, the wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha and the Congress’ Acharya Pramod Krishnan.