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LS polls Phase I: Here are the key candidates and constituencies to look out for

ANI  |  Politics 

First phase of the much awaited elections is all set to begin on Thursday, where 91 parliamentary constituencies spread over 20 states and Union Territories (UTs) will vote to elect their representatives.

Among the constituencies going for polls in the first phase are - eight in Uttar Pradesh, five in Uttarakhand, four in Bihar, seven in Maharashtra, five in Assam, four in Odisha, two each in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal, and one each in Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, and Lakshadweep.

Under the first phase of the polls, around 1300 candidates are in the fray and there are nearly 170,000 polling stations. Polling will begin at 7 AM in most of these constituencies, barring a few which require special security measures.

In addition to the polling, there will also be Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to 28 of 147 assembly seats in Odisha.

The Lok Sabha elections will witness some interesting battles between top candidates from their respective constituencies. While the sitting MPs would be aiming to retain their seats, others are vying to unseat the incumbents and gain hold of that constituency.

Here is a look at some of the key constituencies and key players:

(Telangana) - An AIMIM stronghold since 1984, party is seeking re-election from this constituency.

Khammam (Andhra Pradesh) - TDP sitting is pitted against Renuka Choudhary, who previously held the seat twice since 1999, but lost in the last two Lok Sabha polls.

Nizamabad (Telangana) - K Chandrashekar Rao's daughter K Kavitha will be fighting against Congress' Madhu Yakshi Gowd. Interestingly, there are 185 candidates in the fray and the had to make special arrangements for EVMs to be used during polling.

Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) - Galla Jayadev, who is the sitting from this constituency, is the of Amara Raja Group, an MNC firm. He is looking to retain his seat and is up against BJP's Valluru Jayaprakash Narayana, Congress' Shaik Mastan Vali and YSR Congress' Modugula Venugopal Reddy.

In Andhra Pradesh, where Assembly elections will be held simultaneously with Lok Sabha polls, TDP and Chief N Chandrababu Naidu is contesting from Kuppam constituency, while his son is making his electoral debut from Mangalagiri seat.

In Pulivendula constituency, YSR chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy is seeking re-election from his traditional family bastion.

(Maharashtra) - This constituency will be keenly watched as Union will be contesting from the Orange City. He is pitted against Nana Patole, who joined in January 2018, after leaving the BJP.

Chandrapur (Maharashtra) - Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir is seeking re-election from this constituency. He is a three-time sitting

In Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar, (retired) VK Singh and are looking to retain their respective constituencies.

Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) - The constituency gained attention in 2013 during the communal riots. An interesting electoral battle is expected to be witnessed where sitting is facing and former Ajit Singh, the

Kairana (Uttar Pradesh) - Sitting MP had won from this seat in the 2018 bypolls which was necessitated following the demise of then sitting Hasan is contesting from this seat on SP ticket, while the BJP has fielded Pradip Chaudhary instead of Mriganka Singh, Hukum Singh's daughter.

Baghpat (Uttar Pradesh) - Ajit Singh's son is pitted against and sitting MP of BJP.

In Bihar's Jamui seat, Chirag Paswan, whose party LJP is a part of NDA will be contesting from this seat against Bhudeo Chaudhary of RLSP. While in Gaya, former is the 'mahagathbandhan' candidate against JD(U)'s Vijay Kumar Manjhi, who was fielded by the BJP as part of their seat-sharing deal. The BJP currently holds the Gaya seat.

In the North-East, Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju will take on former of Congress from Arunachal West seat. In Assam's Kaliabor, former Tarun Gogoi's son is seeking re-election from this seat, which is a family bastion since 1991.

In Meghalaya's Tura, another interesting electoral battle awaits where Agatha Sangha, sister of Chief Minister is pitted against Congress' Mukul Sangma, a former

(Uttarakhand) - All eyes will be on this constituency as former Chief Minister will be up against

Garhwal (Uttarakhand) - Yet another electoral fight awaits where Manish Khanduri, son of former Chief Minister BC Khanduri, is contesting from this seat on a Congress. He is pitted against BJP's Tirath Singh Rawat, who is a one-time BC Khanduri protege.

In Jammu and Kashmir, sitting is up against Congress' of Congress from Jammu constituency. Interestingly, regional parties NC and PDP have not fielded any candidates and are supporting the Congress.

Beginning today, the Lok Sabha polls will be conducted in seven phases till May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for the Lok Sabha elections and tight vigil is being maintained at interstate borders.

The has appealed to the people to vote in large numbers to strengthen democracy.

"On Thursday will be first of the seven-phase elections for the 17th Lok Sabha. Approximately 90 crore voters will exercise their franchise. We appeal to the people of to vote fearlessly so that foundations of our democracy get stronger," had told ANI on Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 03:40 IST