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Key constituencies going to polls on Monday


IANS New Delhi
As many as 72 Lok Sabha constituencies across nine states will go to the polls on Monday in the fourth phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.
Polling will also take place in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag constituency, which is witnessing a three-phase vote.
The electorate will decide the political fortunes of 961 candidates in this phase.
Some of the key constituencies going to polls on Monday are:
Begusarai (Bihar)
Key contestants: Giriraj Singh (BJP), Kanhaiya Kumar (CPI), Tanveer Hasan (RJD)
Main issues and factors: A Left stronghold, Begusarai was once known as Leningrad of Bihar. Today the battle for Begusarai is being watched with curiosity. Former JNU Students' Union President Kanhaiya Kumar, accused of sedition for allegedly doing nothing to prevent the raising of anti-India slogans on the campus, is a CPI candidate against Union Minister and BJP nominee Giriraj Singh. Singh has been shifted from Nawada to Begusarai and is banking on his party's "nationalism" chorus. Kumar has got support from some Bollywood stars. The caste and community loyalities are likely to be major factors.
Darbhanga (Bihar)
Key contestants: Gopalji Thakur (BJP), Abdul Bari Siddiqui (RJD)
Main issues and factors: BJP deserter and cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad is the outgoing MP from Darbhanga. The Congress wanted to field Azad from the seat again, but the RJD refused to part with it. Siddiqui, a seasoned RJD leader, has raised some campaign fund through crowd funding. Caste equations will matter the most, though people are also talking about unemployment and inadequate transport facilities.
Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh)
Key contestants: Nakul Nath (Congress), Nathan Shah Kavreti (BJP)
Main issues and factors: Chhindwara is a prestige battle for MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath who has fielded his son from the seat after winning it nine times. Nath senior won the seat even at the peak of the Modi wave when the BJP swept the state in the 2014 elections. Nath junior is now promising faster development. Though Kavreti has been raising lack of facilities in rural areas as well as income tax raids on Kamal Nath's aides, the odds seem to be stacked against the BJP.
Maval (Maharashtra)
Key contestants: Parth Pawar (NCP), Shrirang Barne (Shiv Sena)
Main issues and factors: In the much-watched electoral debut of NCP leader Sharad Pawar's grandnephew Parth Pawar, the NCP has boosted its prospects with a tie-up with the Peasants and Workers Party (WPP). But Shrirang Barne, sitting Shiv Sena MP, has a stronger grassroots connect. The Shiv Sena won the seat in 2009 too. While Parth is reminding people of work done by NCP leaders, Barne says he has no understanding of local issues.
Mumbai North Central (Maharashtra)
Key contestants: Poonam Mahajan (BJP), Priya Dutt (Congress)
Main issues and factors: Mahajan and Dutt are pitted against each other once again, after their 2014 face-off, which Mahajan won by over 1.85 lakh votes. Dutt is the daughter of late actor-politician Sunil Dutt and a former MP, while Mahajan is the daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan. The BJP has made inroads into the constituency, earlier considered safe for the Congress. Mahajan has been talking about her work in the area as well as achievements of the Modi government.
Mumbai North (Maharashtra)
Key contestants: Gopal Shetty (BJP), Urmila Matondkar (Congress)
Main issues and factors: Shetty won Mumbai North by over 4 lakh votes in the 2014 elections and it was not easy for the Congress to find a suitable candidate. But actress and debutante Matondkar has energised the Congress campaign with her easy accessibility. The seat has sizeable population of Gujaratis, and the caste and community loyalities will play a part on the polling day. Shettty has also been talking of his work in the constituency and his connect with voters.
Kendrapara (Odisha)
Key contestants: Baijayant 'Jay' Panda (BJP), Anubhav Mohanty (BJD), Dharanidhar Nayak (Congress)
Main issues and factors: It's a prestige battle between former MP Panda and actor Mohanty. Panda who quit the BJD to join the BJP is fighting to retain the seat in the face of a strong push from his erstwhile party, which has fielded Mohanty. Kendrapara has been a BJD bastion, where the BJP's performance was not so impressive in the last two polls.
Jodhpur (Rajasthan)
Key contestants: Vaibhav Gehlot (Congress), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (BJP)
Main factors and issues: Another prestige battle between Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Ashok Gehlot who won the seat five times since 1980 is going all out to ensure a successful political debut of his son. But Shekhawat has a strong community hold and won by a margin of over 4 lakh votes in 2014.
Barmer (Rajasthan)
Key contestant: Manvendra Singh (Congress), Kailash Choudhry (BJP)
Main issues and factors: In 2014, the BJP denied ticket to its senior leader Jaswant Singh and his son Manvendra Singh. Jaswant Singh contested as Independent and lost to BJP's Sona Ram. Manvendra lost last year's Assembly polls to former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. He is now keen to settle scores with the BJP, which has fielded Kailash Choudhry. Caste loyalities are a factor in Barmer, as is nationalism given the border town's location.
Jhalawar-Baran (Rajasthan)
Key contestants: Dushyant Singh (BJP), Pramod Sharma (Congress)
Main issues and factors: Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's son Dushyant Singh is in the fray again from the seat, which his mother won five times. The Congress has fielded former BJP leader Pramod Sharma. Though the constituency has made news for cases of farmer suicides, Singh is highlighting development and nationalism in his campaign.
Unnao (Uttar Pradesh)
Key contestants: Sakshi Maharaj (BJP), Anu Tandon (Congress), Arun Kumar Shukla (SP)
Main issues and factors: While BJP's controversial MP Sakshi Maharaj is aiming for another term, Congress candidate and former MP Anu Tandon is banking on her goodwill and work in the area. Congress is also hoping to benefit from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's campaign in the constituency.
Kanpur city (Uttar Pradesh)
Key contestants: Sriprakash Jaiswal (Congress), Satyadev Pachauri (BJP), Ram Kumar (SP)
Main issues and factors: Denying a ticket to sitting MP Murli Manohar Joshi, the BJP opted for Satyadev Pachauri, a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government. The Congress has fielded former Union Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, known for his approachable image. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have campaigned for him.
Bahrampur (West Bengal)
Key contestants: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress), Apurba Sarkar (TMC), Krishna Joardar (BJP)
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is seeking his fifth term in Parliament and other than fielding his protege Apurba Sarkar (earlier with the Congress) against him, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has put in all her might to ensure that he does not succeed.
Asansol (West Bengal)
Key contestants: Babul Supriyo (BJP), Moon Moon Sen (TMC), Gauranga Chatterjee (CPI-M)
The contest in Asansol is getting attention for the famous faces Babul Supriyo (BJP) and Moon Moon Sen (TMC) in the fray. The TMC is leaving no stone unturned to wrest Asansol, a West Bengal seat that the BJP won on its own in 2014 (in Darjeeling, it got support of groups such as GJM). Parts of the constituency, which borders Jharkhand, have been bastions of the Left, but the BJP has made deep inroads. The constituency has seen rallies by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 9:44 PM IST

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