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Phase V: Big names and contests

Amethi, Rae Bareli, Lucknow go to polls in this round
Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Barabanki on May 1.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Barabanki on May 1.
(PTI)

The Telegraph   |   New Delhi   |   Published 05.05.19, 10:38 AM

The contest: Shabbir Balmiki (Samajwadi Party) vs Akshaibar Lal (BJP)

Seat: Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh

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Interest quotient: In Bahraich, BJP’s Lal had defeated Balmiki by a margin of about 95,000 votes. If the mahagathbandan magic works in the favour of the SP-BSP, Lal may find it difficult to retain the seat. Shabbir’s Muslim name also has an interesting story. He was raised by a Muslim couple after his parents gave him away to protect him of evil spirits. His Muslim name, however, resulted in a legal battle when he first fought on a reserved seat.

The contest: Rajnath Singh (BJP) vs Poonam Sinha (Samajwadi Party)

Seat: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Interest quotient: This could be one of the no-contests this election. Since 1991, Lucknow has chosen the BJP. Poonam Sinha is a rookie. The interesting number to watch could be Rajnath’s victory margin here.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and home minister Rajnath Singh are among the high-profile candidates in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 6. Fifty-one constituencies will vote across seven states – Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal.

The contest: Rahul Gandhi (Congress) vs Smriti Irani (BJP)

Seat: Amethi, Uttar Pradesh

Interest quotient: There is a feeling that if the mahagathbandhan had fielded a candidate in Amethi, Rahul Gandhi would have a tough time. In 2014, Irani lost to Rahul but the Congress’ vote share dipped. Will the contest be close this time?

The contest: Rajyavardhan Rathore (BJP) vs Krishna Poonia (Congress)

Seat: Jaipur Rural, Rajasthan

Interest quotient: With Congress fielding discus thrower Poonia, the Jaipur Rural contest has brought two Olympians against each other. Poonia, a first-time MLA is competing in her first Lok Sabha election, will take on union sports minister Rathore who won India an Olympic silver in Athens 2004.



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