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The battles so far

- Few things can make an election as gripping as great rivalries. The personality clashes that have shaped up till now are listed below

CHANDNI CHOWK

  • Kapil Sibal (Cong)
  • Ashutosh Gupta (Aam Aadmi Party)
  • Harshvardhan (BJP)

Union minister Sibal had sailed through the past two polls from this Delhi seat because of near-total Muslim support but has competition this year. Ashutosh, a former CNN-IBN anchorperson, is wooing Muslims and the dominant Banias. He never used his (Bania) surname as a journalist but appended it as soon as his nomination was announced. Harshvardhan, the BJP chief ministerial candidate in the recent Assembly polls and an ENT specialist, is a Chandni Chowk native but had so far been stifled by fellow BJP Bania Vijay Goel. This time he has the backing of Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley.

MUMBAI NORTH-CENTRAL

  • Priya Dutt (Cong)
  • Poonam Mahajan Rao (BJP)
  • Phiroze Palkhiwala (AAP)

CHANDIGARH

  • Kirron Kher (BJP)
  • Gul Panag (AAP)
  • Pawan Bansal (Cong))

NAGPUR

  • Nitin Gadkari (BJP)
  • Anjali Damania (AAP)
  • Vilas Muttemwar (Congress)
Nitin Gadkari Anjali Damania Vilas Muttemwar

GHAZIABAD

  • V.K. Singh (BJP)
  • Raj Babbar (Cong)
  • Shazia Ilmi (Aam Aadmi Party)

AMRITSAR

  • Arun Jaitley (BJP)
  • Amarinder Singh (Cong)

 

VARANASI

  • Narendra Modi (BJP)
  • vs who?

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal will decide on March 26 whether to take Modi on following a “referendum” — a vote before the vote — among the constituency’s voters.The Congress has not named its nominee yet, keeping alive speculation whether the party will back Kejriwal although it has discounted the possibility of doing so. The BSP was expected to field its best-known Brahmin, Satish Chandra Mishra. But the word is that Mishra, Myawati’s chief political aide, told some people: “Mein apni gardan katwaunga kya (Should I offer myself up for slaughter)?” The received wisdom is that only a heavyweight “Pandit” (Brahmin) can complete against Modi in the holy city, although the Brahmins’ clout in managing religious affairs in the town has dwindled with the rise of the backward castes and Dalits.

Modi is from a backward caste but the BJP claims his caste doesn’t count here. The party slogan “Har, har Modi, ghar, ghar Modi” — improvised on a popular chant about Varanasi’s primary deity Shiva — is said to have offended many pious Brahmins. After the Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati, protested, Modi tweeted on Sunday: “Some enthusiastic supporters have been using the slogan Har Har Modi. I
respect their enthusiasm, but request them not to use this slogan in the future.”

COMPILED BY Radhika Ramaseshan