In the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha polls 2019, 59 parliamentary constituencies across seven states are going to vote. In this phase, Delhi will enter polling and join other states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal where polling will continue in the remaining constituencies.
In this phase, over 10 crore 17 lakh voters will decide the fate of 979 candidates as polling will be conducted in 1.13 lakh polling stations.
Some of the constituencies polling in this phase are important considering that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will face its toughest battle in Uttar Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, the saffron party will try to retain its seats in seven of the eight constituencies going for polls on May 12. Considering these aspects, here are such key constituencies that are polling in phase 5:
Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh
Key candidates: Akhilesh Yadav (SP), Dinesh Lal Yadav (BJP)
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav will be contesting from Azamgarh constituency. He will be facing the BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav. In 2014, his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav won this seat after defeating the BJP candidate Ramakant Yadav by over 63,000 votes.
For the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the party has stitched an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to take on the BJP.
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Key candidates: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur (BJP), Digvijaya Singh (INC), Madho Singh Ahirwar (BSP)
Bhopal, which has been a stronghold of the BJP, is set to witness a tough battle in phase six. The saffron party has fielded Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur against Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh. The nomination of the BJP candidate Pragya Thakur has drawn a lot of criticism as she is a terror accused.
In 2014, the BJP candidate Alok Sanjar won this seat after defeating Congress’ PC Sharma by over 3 lakh votes.
Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Key candidates: Maneka Gandhi (BJP), Chandra Bhadra Singh (BSP)
Union minister Maneka Gandhi is contesting from this seat, which is currently held by her son Varun Gandhi. In 2014, Gandhi won the seat after defeating the BSP candidate Pawan Pandey by over 1.7 lakh votes.
As of now, Sultanpur is not seen as a bastion for any political party. Since the first Lok Sabha election held in 1951, the Congress has bagged the Sultanpur seat seven times, the BJP has won this seat four times and BSP twice.
North East Delhi, Delhi
Key Candidates: Sheila Dikshit (INC), Manoj Tiwari (BJP), Dilip Pandey (AAP)
In this constituency, the Congress has fielded former chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Dikshit will be up against the BJP candidate Manoj Tiwari, who is contesting again from the seat. In 2014, Tiwar won this seat after defeating Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) Anand Kumar by a margin of 1.4 lakh votes.
The battle in this constituency will be three ways as the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party has not formed an alliance.
East Delhi, Delhi
Key candidates: Gautam Gambhir (BJP), Atishi (AAP), Arvinder Singh Lovely (INC)
In this constituency, the BJP has fielded cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir to take on AAP’s Atishi. Congress has fielded Arvinder Singh Lovely.
In 2014, the BJP candidate Maheish Girri won the seat after defeating AAP’s Rajmohan Gandhi by a margin of 1.9 lakh votes.
Bankura, West Bengal
Key candidates: Dr Subhash Sarkar (BJP), Mahadeb Bauri (BSP), Amiya Patra (CPI(M))
Bankura was held by Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s Basudeb Acharia since 1980. However, in 2014, the Trinamool Congress candidate Moon Moon Sen defeated him. At a time when the BJP is trying to make inroads into West Bengal and Sen now fighting from a different seat, the contest here is likely to turn three-way.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Sen defeated the CPI(M) candidate Acharia Basudeb by a margin of over 98,000 votes.
In other constituencies, the key candidates who will be polling in this phase includes Radha Mohan Singh (Purba Champaran, Bihar), Prakash Jha (Paschim Champaran, Bihar) and Harsh Vardhan (Channi Chowk, Delhi).