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Final round: Varanasi votes today

Will Shatrughan Sinha be able to keep Patna Sahib? Will Misa enter the Lok Sabha finally? It will be settled in the May 19 vote
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PTI file photo

The Telegraph   |   New Delhi   |   Published 18.05.19, 01:33 PM

In the seventh and final phase of the general elections, 59 constituencies will vote. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shatrughan Sinha, Ravi Kisen, Sunny Deol and Kirron Kher are in the fray.

The contest: Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) vs Shatrughan Sinha (Congress)

Seat: Patna Sahib, Bihar

Interest quotient: Sinha quit the BJP after he was not given a ticket. He moved to the Congress. Now, he is pitted against law minister Prasad who, he says, is a friend. Sinha won the seat in 2009 and 2014 on a BJP ticket. Sinha insisted he would contest only from Patna Sahib only.  

The contest: Misa Bharti (RJD) vs Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP)

Seat: Pataliputra, Bihar

Interest quotient: Lalu Prasad’s daughter takes on his former aide here. Ram Kripal is the sitting BJP MP and a union minister. Misa is a Rajya Sabha MP and had lost to Ram Kripal in 2014. Lalu had himself contested from the seat in 2009 but lost to another former aide, Ranjan Yadav, then a JD(U) candidate. Will Misa be second time lucky?

The contest: Upendra Kushwaha (Rashtriya Lok Samta Party) vs Mahabali Singh (JDU)

Seat: Karakat, Bihar

Interest quotient: Kushwaha’s RLSP, which was with the NDA, crossed to the RJD-Congress camp in December 2018 after a demand for three seats was rejected. Kushwaha had said that “the promise of providing Bihar a special package has been the biggest jumla.” Siding with the grand alliance is expected to benefit Kushwaha in this fight for prestige.

The contest: Rambhual Nishad (SP) vs Ravi Kisen (BJP)

Seat: Gorakhpur, UP

Interest quotient: The BJP lost Gorakhpur, the fiefdom of Yogi Adityanath, in a 2018 bypoll to mahagathbandhan candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad. This time, the UP alliance expects to repeat the magic against the BJP’s fresh face and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kisen.

The contest: Narendra Modi (BJP) vs Ajay Rai (Congress)

Seat: Varanasi, UP

Interest quotient: The seat saw an interesting battle even before polling when a suspended BSF jawan challenged the Prime Minister in his ‘karm bhoomi’ and was subsequently disallowed from contesting by the Election Commission. All eyes were fixed on the seat when speculations were rife that Priyanka Gandhi might contest. Former five-time MLA Rai, however, was declared the Congress choice.

The contest: Kirron Kher (BJP), Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress) and Harmohan Dhawan (AAP)

Seat: Chandigarh

Interest quotient: In 2014, riding the Modi wave, Kher had defeated the four-time MP and former railway minister Bansal by nearly 70,000 votes. A close third runner-up was AAP’s Gul Panag who has been replaced by Dhawan this time. Kher is alleged to be an absentee MP but could benefit from a three-cornered fight.

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