Lok Sabha Polls Phase 6: Prominent Candidates & Key Battles Taking Shape

There are a total of 5.84 crore male, 5.29 crore female and 5,120 third gender voters ready to cast their votes in the sixth phase. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), around 11.4 lakh polling officials have been deployed at 1.14 lakh polling stations.
Lok Sabha Polls Phase 6: Prominent Candidates & Key Battles Taking Shape
Lok Sabha Polls Phase 6: Prominent Candidates & Key Battles Taking ShapeREPRESENTATIVE

The sixth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections is set to take place on Saturday, May 25 with over 11.13 crore eligible voters deciding the fate of 889 candidates from 58 constituencies across eight states and union territories.

Polling will be held in 14 seats of Uttar Pradesh, all 10 seats of Haryana, eight seats of Bihar and West Bengal, six seats in Odisha, four seats in Jharkhand and one seat in Jammu and Kashmir apart from the national capital.

There are a total of 5.84 crore male, 5.29 crore female and 5,120 third gender voters ready to cast their votes in the sixth phase. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), around 11.4 lakh polling officials have been deployed at 1.14 lakh polling stations.

Of the total number of candidates contesting in the sixth phase, around 39 per cent are crorepatis with average assets of Rs 6.21 crore, poll rights body ADR highlighted.

The prominent candidates whose future will be up for grabs in phase six include Dharmendra Pradhan Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar, BJP's Maneka Gandhi, Sambit Patra, Manohar Lal Khattar and Manoj Tiwari, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Deepender Singh Hooda, Raj Babbar and Kanhaiya Kumar of Congress.

Key battles taking shape in the sixth phase:

Maneka Gandhi from Uttar Pradesh's Sultanpur

Maneka Gandhi, a prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is vying for re-election in Sultanpur, leveraging her extensive track record of addressing local and hyperlocal issues. Having once aspired to carry forward the political legacy of Sanjay Gandhi in Amethi, her ambitions led to a strained relationship with her mother-in-law, the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. However, despite this tumultuous past, at 67, Maneka stands as one of the longest-serving Members of Parliament, having assumed office in 2019 after succeeding her son Varun. Prior to Sultanpur, she represented Pilibhit for six consecutive terms and Aonla once.

In the upcoming elections, Maneka Gandhi faces competition primarily from Ram Bhuaal Nishad of the Samajwadi Party, a former minister in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government, and Udai Raj Verma of the BSP. The contest in Sultanpur promises to be closely watched, with Maneka seeking to secure another term based on her experience and track record in addressing the concerns of her constituents.

Mehbooba Mufti from Jammu & Kashmir's Anantnag-Rajouri

In the upcoming elections, Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister and leader of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), finds herself in a challenging contest in a controversially redrawn constituency. This constituency, set to vote on Saturday, marks the penultimate round of the seven-phase elections. Among her contenders is Mian Altaf from the National Conference, a prominent figure in the region. However, Mufti's challenge doesn't end there; she also faces competition from Zafar Iqbal Manhas of the Apni Party, who aims to challenge the dominance of both the PDP and the NC, particularly with the support garnered from the BJP in the Pir Panjal region.

Adding to the mix is the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), led by former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, which has put forward Mohammad Saleem Parray as its candidate for the seat. With such a diverse array of contenders, the electoral landscape in this redrawn constituency promises to be fiercely contested, with each candidate vying to secure the support of the voters.

Dharmendra Pradhan from Odisha's Sambalpur

The Union Minister representing the BJP in Sambalpur exuded confidence, asserting that his party is poised to deliver a significant electoral upset to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the state. Pradhan asserts that the BJP's momentum is strong, predicting not only a clean sweep of all 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state but also a change in leadership at the helm. With such bold claims, the BJP's candidate in Sambalpur signals a robust electoral strategy aimed at reshaping the political landscape in the state.

Manoj Tiwari vs Kanhaiya Kumar in North East Delhi

North East Delhi, the focal point of the violent riots in 2020 that resulted in 53 fatalities and 583 injuries, is now the battleground for a fierce electoral contest between two-term BJP MP Manoj Tiwari and the Congress candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, formerly associated with the Communist Party of India (CPI) and known for his involvement in student politics.

Manoj Tiwari stands out as the sole BJP MP in Delhi who has retained his candidacy for the upcoming elections, signaling the party's confidence in his leadership despite the challenges faced by other party members in the region.

For Kanhaiya Kumar, the 2024 Lok Sabha polls mark his second attempt to secure a parliamentary seat. In 2019, he contested unsuccessfully on a CPI ticket against Union Minister Giriraj Singh in Bihar's Begusarai constituency. Now, he aims to make a mark in North East Delhi, presenting himself as a formidable contender against Tiwari. As the election fervor intensifies, the constituency becomes a focal point of political discourse, with both candidates vying for the support of the electorate.

BJP's Abhijit Gangopadhyay from West Bengal's Tamluk

The leader who has recently been at odds with the election commission is gearing up to contest from Tamluk. Abhijit Gangopadhyay, a former judge of the Calcutta High Court, is representing the BJP in this electoral battle against TMC's rising star, Debangshu Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya gained prominence for composing the spirited "Khela Hobe" anthem for the party during the 2021 assembly polls. As the campaign heats up in Tamluk, both candidates are set to engage in a fierce competition, vying for the support of the electorate in this crucial constituency.

BJP's Manohar Lal Khattar from Haryana's Karnal

Former Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, made the significant decision to step down from his position in order to enter the fray of the Lok Sabha polls. Recognized as a close confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khattar has been nominated as the BJP candidate from the Karnal seat. Speculation is rife that he could potentially wield considerable influence at the Centre, either within the party ranks or by assuming a ministerial role. As Khattar transitions from state to national politics, his candidacy in Karnal holds strategic importance for the BJP, and his future role in the central administration remains a subject of keen interest and speculation.

Naveen Jindal vs Sushil Gupta vs Abhay Singh Chautala in Kurukshetra

The electoral battleground of Kurukshetra in Haryana is poised for a triangular showdown as the state gears up for Lok Sabha elections this Saturday. The newly inducted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate, industrialist Naveen Jindal, will face off against Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Sushil Gupta and the Indian National Lok Dal's (INLD) Abhay Singh Chautala.

Naveen Jindal, who made the switch from the Congress to the BJP in March, brings a wealth of experience to the table, having previously represented the Kurukshetra parliamentary constituency from 2004 to 2014. However, he faced defeat in the 2014 national elections against BJP's Raj Kumar Saini and was notably absent from the Congress' candidate list in 2019.

With the entry of Jindal into the BJP camp, the electoral dynamics of Kurukshetra have undergone a significant shift, setting the stage for a closely contested battle among the three prominent contenders. As voters prepare to cast their ballots, all eyes will be on Kurukshetra to see which candidate emerges victorious in this hotly contested electoral contest.

The last phase of elections is scheduled to be held on June 1 and the counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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