The fifth phase of polling in 14 Lok Sabha seats in UP on Monday will witness poll battles featuring several high profile candidates like UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani. In all, 51 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls on May 6, namely Rajasthan (12 seats), Bihar (five seats), MP (seven seats), West Bengal (seven seats), Jharkhand (four seats) and the lone seat of Ladakh in J&K.
In Jharkhand, two former CMs of the state, Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda, Central minister Jayant Sinha as well as former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahai will be at the hustings during the fifth phase. All the four seats which will go to polls on May 6 in the state are currently with the BJP. In Madhya Pradesh too, all the seven seats which are in the fray in the fifth phase, are currently held by the BJP. However, the Congress, which is fresh from its hard-fought victory in the December 2018 Assembly elections, will give a tough fight to the BJP in the polls.
Bihar will see five seats going for polls in the fifth phase, where the focus will be on Saran seat, where RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s relative Chandrika Rai is in the fray. Mr Rai’s daughter is married to Mr Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap Ya-dav. From Hajipur, which has been Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s pocketborough, his youngest brother Pashupati Paras has been fielded as NDA’s candidate.
Central ministers Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Arjun Ram Meghwal are in the fray from rural Jaipur and Bikaner seats respectively in Rajasthan. Both are sitting MPs from these respective seats. From Jaipur, the BJP has renominated its sitting MP Ramcharan Bohra, while the Congress has fielded Jyoti Khandelwal. Almost 50 per cent of the 12 seats in the state are dominated by the Jat community.
Congress leader and former minister Jitendra Singh has been fielded from Alwar.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting on five seats – Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj, Fatehpur and Kaisarganj. Its ally Samajwadi Party (SP) is fighting for seven seats -Lucknow, Banda, Kaushambi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Bahraich and Gonda.
In Amethi and Rae Bareli, the SP-BSP alliance has not put up any candidate, leaving the two constituencies for the Congress.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is seeking re-election from Lucknow, while his colleague at the Centre Smriti Irani is again taking on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi.
Source – DC