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Latest NewsLok Sabha elections, 1st Phase: 8 Union ministers, 2 former CMs, 1...

Lok Sabha elections, 1st Phase: 8 Union ministers, 2 former CMs, 1 ex-governor in fray

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New Delhi, Apr 19: Eight Union ministers, two former chief ministers and one ex-governor are among those who are set to test their electoral fate in the first phase of elections as voting started for 102 seats across 21 states and Union territories.

Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is seeking a hat-trick of win from the Nagpur seat. In 2014, he had defeated seven-time MP Vilas Muttemwar by a margin of 2.84 lakh votes and retained the seat in 2019 by defeating current Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole by 2.16 lakh votes.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju is contesting from the Arunachal West seat. The 52-year-old has represented the constituency thrice since 2004. Rijiju's main rival is former chief minister and present president of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Nabam Tuki.

Sarbanada Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, is seeking a return to Lok Sabha from Dibrugarh in Assam. Sonowal, a Rajya Sabha member, was fielded from Dibrugarh after Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli, was not given a ticket.

Muzaffarnagar, known for its intricate caste dynamics, is witnessing a three-cornered electoral battle, with Union minister Sanjeev Baliyan locked in competition against Samajwadi Party's Harindra Malik and BSP candidate Dara Singh Prajapati.

Jitendra Singh, a two-time parliamentarian and a junior minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet, is aiming for a hat-trick in Udhampur.

Bhupendra Yadav, Union minister and Rajya Sabha member who replaced sitting MP Balak Nath, is in a contest with sitting Congress MLA Lalit Yadav, who belongs to Matsya region of Alwar district in Rajasthan and enjoys the support of the Yadav community.

Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal is pitted against former Congress minister Govind Ram Meghwl from Bikaner parliamentary seat in Rajasthan.

The Nilgiris Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu is witnessing one of the keenly watched battles between A Raja, the incumbent DMK MP, and former telecom minister, and L Murugan of the BJP, who is the Union Minister of State for Fisheries. This will be the first time that Murugan, who was elected to Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, is contesting from here.

Sivaganga MP Karti Chidmabaram is aiming for a re-election from a seat his father won seven times, competing against BJP's T Devanathan Yadav and AIADMK's Xavier Dass.

Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai is set to take the ballot test in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore where she is pitted against DMK leader Ganapathy P Rajkumar and AIADMK's Singai Ramachandran.

Tamilisai Soundararajan, who recently resigned as governor of Telangana and Lt Governor of Puducherry to return to active , is contesting from Chennai South Lok Sabha constituency. Daughter of veteran Congress leader Kumari Anantha, Soundararajan had contested 2019 against DMK's Kanimozhi, but lost by a huge margin in Thoothukudi.

This time, Kanimozhi is seeking a re-election from the seat. NDA ally Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) has fielded SDR Vijayaseelan and AIADMK has fielded R Sivasami Velumani from the constituency.

Nakul Nath, son of Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, is seeking a re-election Chhindwara.

The seat has remained firmly with Kamal Nath, who has won the seat nine times since 1980. In the 2019 polls, the BJP bagged 28 seats out of the state's 29, but missed out on picking Chhindwara, where Nakul beat the BJP's candidate by 37,536 votes to emerge as the lone Congress MP in the state.

Of the two Lok Sabha constituencies in Tripura, the seat of West Tripura that votes in the first phase on April 19 will see a high-voltage clash between former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb and state Congress president Ashish Kumar Saha.

Having won Lok Sabha elections twice since 2014 from Kaliabor constituency in Assam, Gaurav Gogoi, Congress' deputy leader in Lok Sabha and son of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, finds himself as the new candidate in neighbouring Jorhat, where BJP's Topon Kumar Gogoi won in 2019.

Gaurav Gogoi's shift to Jorhat came after the impact of delimitation exercise in his 2019 constituency, Kaliabor.

Manipur Law and Minister Basanta Kumar Singh is BJP's nominee for the Inner Manipur constituency and is pitted against JNU professor and Congress candidate Bimal Akoijam.

Singh, who belongs to the Meiti community, is the son of Thounaojam Chaoba Singh who served as the Union Minister of State for sports, youth affairs, and food processing in the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The BJP stronghold of Churu, in northern Rajasthan, is readying for an interesting match between BJP candidate Devendra Jhajharia, a two-time Paralympic gold medallist javelin thrower, and Rahul Kaswan from the Congress. Kaswan is a turncoat who has made the fight for Churu interesting. The two-time left the BJP only in March after he was denied a ticket by the party.

Polling for the 543 seats for electing the 18th Lok Sabha will be held in seven phases. The votes will be counted on June 4.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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