14 crore people, almost the same as the population of Russia, are queuing up today to cast their ballots in the first phase of a mammoth general election to pick members of the 17th Lok Sabha. Elections concerned, Voting in the first of seven rounds is being held in 91 constituencies across 20 states and union territories, amid tightened security. Prime Minister Modi faces a firm challenge this time from the Raul gandhi and other opposition parties which have managed to stitch several strategic alliances in all the states.
Top 10 major battles in Phase 1 of Lok Sabha elections 2019:
Nitin Gadkari vs Nana Patole
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, the sitting BJP lawmaker, is pitted against Congress candidate Nana Patole in Maharashtra’s Nagpur. and Nagpur has long been a Congress bastion, he will find it a difficult task to beat Mr. Gadkari, one of the popular union ministers known for his straight talk and a proven performance record.
The Union Minister Kiren Rijiju is seeking for a re-election from one of the two seats in Arunchal Pradesh and Arunachal West bengal. junior home minister is up against former chief minister Nabam Tuki, Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Jarjum Ete and Khyoda Apik of the National Peoples’ Party (NPP). But both the seats are considered Congress strongholds, Mr Rijiju won his seat in 2014 by defeating his nearest rival Congress nominee Takam Sanjoy by a margin around 42,200 votes.
Sanjeev Balyan vs Ajit Singh
Communally-sensitive seat of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh sees a clash with Ajit Singh, chief of Rashtriya Lok Dal – one of the constituents of the opposition “Grand Alliance”, and sitting Bharatiya Janatha Party(BJP) lawmaker Sanjeev Balyan.
Few Months before the last elections in 2014, Muzaffarnagar had witnessed one of the most violent riots in the history. 60 people were killed and about 50,445 were displaced in the September 2013 violence. In the Lok Sabha polls, held about six months later, BJP’s Sanjeev Balyan defeated Bahujan Samajwadi Party’s Kadir Rana by a margin of more than four lakh votes. Jayant Choudhary, and is contesting from Muzaffarnagar for the first time. “Balyan’s hate politics will not work this time,” he told NDTV.
Satya Pal Singh vs Jayant Chaudhary
Union Minister Chief Satya Pal Singh, Retired IPS officer is seeking for re-election from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat Lok Sabha seat as a BJP candidate and is up against Jayant Chaudhary, the son of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) founder Ajit Singh.
Hansraj Ahir vs Suresh Narayan Dhanorkar
Chief Hansraj Ahir, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, tees off against Suresh Narayan Dhanorkar of the Congress in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur. Mr. Ahir is seeking re-election for the fourth time while Mr. Dhanorkar is a newcomer to the seat who quit the Shiv Sena last year and joined the Congress.
P Ashok Gajapathi Raju vs Bellana Chandra Sekhar
Former Union Minister, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju of the (TDP)Telugu Desam Party is contesting from Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram against Bellana Chandra Sekhar of the YSR Congress Party. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, is a seasoned leader and politician who has held several portfolios in the state and central governments while Mr. Bellana has been a Zilla Parishad chairman from the area in the past.