From PM Modi to Kangana Ranaut – Key candidates in Phase 7

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Lucknow: The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 entered its seventh and final phase of polling on June 1, 2024. The Election Commission of India said 904 candidates are contesting in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections. The polling process will be held across 57 seats in eight states and union territories. Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal are slated to vote in the final phase.

In Punjab, 328 candidates are competing for 13 seats, while in Uttar Pradesh, 144 candidates are vying for 13 seats. In Bihar, 134 candidates are contesting for eight seats. Odisha has 66 candidates competing for six seats, and Jharkhand has 52 candidates contesting for three seats. Himachal Pradesh has 37 candidates competing for four seats, and Chandigarh has 19 candidates contesting for one seat.

Varanasi has been Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency since 2014. The Congress party has fielded Ajai Rai from Varanasi for the third time. Rai was previously a member of the BJP but left in 2007. He joined Congress in 2012 and won the Pindra (formerly Kolasla) seat by defeating a BJP candidate. The Congress party then fielded him against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Rai finished in third place.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur constituency, the BJP has fielded politician and actor Ravi Kishan as its candidate. The Samajwadi Party’s candidate is Kajal Nishad. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Ravi Kishan won the seat with over 60 per cent of the votes, while the SP candidate, Rambhual Nishad, finished second with 415,458 votes.

Ravi Kishan

The BJP has fielded actress Kangana Ranaut from the Mandi seat in Himachal Pradesh. Kangana is contesting against Congress’ Vikramaditya Singh, son of the late former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The Mandi constituency is symbolically significant for the Congress, as it is considered a stronghold of the Virbhadra family. The seat is currently held by Pratibha Devi Singh, the late leader’s widow, who won it for the Congress in a by-election following the death of BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma. In the 2019 elections, the BJP won all four Lok Sabha constituencies in Himachal Pradesh.

Kangna Ranaut

Pratap Chandra Sarangi is contesting from the Balasore constituency in Odisha, representing the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on June 1, 2024. Sarangi, aged 69, is a graduate. He has nine cases against him. His total assets are valued at Rs 49.6 lakh, comprising Rs 45.3 lakh in movable assets and Rs 4.3 lakh in immovable assets, with no liabilities.

Pratap Chandra Sarangi

Ghosh, an actor from the Bengali film industry, has been fielded from Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal. Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat is considered a stronghold of TMC. The The 31-year-old has been fielded in place of sitting MP and actor Mimi Chakraborty, who was elected from Jadavpur in the last Lok Sabha elections.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has introduced a new trend by dropping several sitting MPs from the candidate list. However, they have retained key members, including Ravi Shankar Prasad, their candidate for the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency. Prasad replaced Shatrughan Sinha in this seat in 2019 after Sinha had won the previous two elections since the constituency’s inception in 2009. Prasad, who has served in Narendra Modi’s cabinet since 2014, has held the position of Law Minister three times and played a significant role in abolishing the law of triple talaq. He aims to maintain BJP’s perfect winning record in Patna Sahib and extend it to 4-0.

Ravi Shankar Prasad

Amritpal Singh (Independent): Amritpal Singh will contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Khadoor Sahib Lok seat as an Independent candidate. Amritpal Singh and nine others were detained under the stringent National Security Act at Dibrugarh Central Jail since March last year after he was arrested by the Punjab Police. The Punjab Police had registered two FIRs against the head of the Waris Punjab De head on February 22, a day before the violence at a police station in the state’s Ajnala. The Khadoor Sahib seat was won by Congress’ Jasbir Singh Gill in 2019. For the 2024 elections, the Congress has nominated Kuldeep Singh Zira, while the BJP has nominated Manjit Singh Manna. Laljit Singh Bhullar will represent the AAP, and the Akali Dal will be represented by Virsa Singh Valtoha.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will contest the elections from the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency. Following the abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Omar Abdullah, vice president of the National Conference, had said that he would not contest assembly elections unless statehood was restored to Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar Abdullah

J&K Peoples Conference (JKPC) chief Sajad Gani Lone filed his nomination papers for the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat on May 1, pledging to fight for equal rights and to bring Jammu and Kashmir on par with other states of India. He has formed a pre-poll alliance with the J&K Apni Party and has the support of smaller players like Yasir Reshi, Safina Beig, and Nizam-ud-Din Bhat. He is a strong contender against National Conference’s Omar Abdullah. In the 2019 Parliament elections, his party secured 1.03 lakh votes compared to NC’s 1.33 lakh votes. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has fielded Fayyaz Mir, a former Rajya Sabha member, as its candidate.

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