Lok Sabha election phase 2: Eleven states, 95 seats – Key contests to watch out for

Lok Sabha Polls Phase 2: Polling is underway for 95 constituencies across 11 states and one Union Territory in the second phase of general elections 2019. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and four sitting Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan are in the fray. Some other prominent faces are NC chief Farooq Abdullah, DMK leader Kanimozhi, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and BJP MP Hema Malini. Here are the key constituencies and the challengers Uttar Pradesh Fatehpur Sikri In 2009, BSP leader Seema Upadhyay defeated actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar contesting on Congress ticket in a very close contest. Upadhyay got 2,09,466 votes while Babbar secured 1,99,530 votes. Five years later, the fight was between the BSP and BJP and saffron party leader Choudhary Babulal defeated Seema Upadhyay by over 1.5 lakh votes. This time, both the parties have replaced their candidates. The BSP has fielded Shribhagwan Sharma to take on BJPs Raj Kumar Chahar while the Congress has once again relied on Raj Babbar. Mathura The BJP has renominated its sitting MP Hema Malini who had won this seat with a huge margin of over 3 lakh votes in 2014. She had defeated RLD chief Ajit Singh son Jayant Choudhary. Hema had got 5,74,633 votes whereas Jayant could secure just 2,43,890 votes. This time, the RLD has fielded Narendra Singh to take on Hema Malini. While the margin of victory for the BJP was huge, the alliance candidate from the grand alliance can spell trouble for Hema Malini. Maharashtra Solapur Shinde, who was the chief minister of Maharashtra from 2003 to 2004, has already announced that this would be his last election. He had won Solapur seat in 2009 but lost to BJP by over 1.5 lakh votes in 2014. Two-time MP and the grandson of BR Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar, is another contender for this seat. He has represented the Akola Lok Sabha constituency twice. Odisha Sundargarh He lost this seat to former Congress chief minister Hemananda Biswal in 2009 but won it back in the last general elections but by a very narrow margin of less than 20000 votes. This time, Oram is facing a tough challenge from sitting Congress MLA George Tirkey who is also a heavyweight tribal leader. Another opponent of the lone BJP MP from Odisha is Sunita Biswal who is the daughter of Hemananda Biswal. In the last elections, Hemananda came at the third position by getting 2,69,335 votes with 26.65 per cent vote share. Jual Oram had got 3,40,508 votes with over 33 per cent vote share. BJD candidate Dilip Kumar Tirkey put up a tough fight but could secure only 3,21,679 votes. Tamil Nadu Thoothukudi Incumbent AIADMK left this seat for the BJP which is contesting this election in alliance with the ruling party. In the last elections, AIADMK leader Jeyasingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee had won this seat by defeating DMK candidate Jegan P by over 1 lakh votes. In 2009, the BJP had secured just over 4 per cent vote share. This is another state where the saffron party has been trying to make inroads but failed so far. AIADMK and DMK have been in the driving seat in the last four decades here. Kanimozhi is currently Rajya Sabha MP representing Tamil Nadu. Sivaganga Sivaganga is believed to be a stronghold of P Chidambaram who won from here seven times before leaving the seat for his son Karti who lost to AIADMKs PR Senthilnathan in 2014. The Congress has once again fielded Karti but the contest could be close this time as the BJP candidate has consistently performed better on this seat. Jammu and Kashmir Udham Pur In 2014, Jitendra Singh had defeated senior Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. However, the margin of victory was just a little over 60,000 votes. The contest in Udhampur is going to be interesting as the two leaders have a distinct profile Srinagar In 2014, the PDP had won this seat with over 40000 votes but lost to NC in a by-election held in 2017. The BJP has fielded former journalist Sheikh Khalid Jehangir who joined the party in 2014. Karnataka Tumkur Basavaraj is a three-time MP who was elected in 8th, 13th and 15th Lok Sabha elections. In the last elections, he lost to Congress leader SP Muddahanumegowda by over 70000 votes. In 2014, Gowda contested from Hassan constituency and won from there over 1 lakh votes. The contest could be close this time as people who are fed up with the strained ties between Congress and JD(S) could turn to the BJP. Bengaluru South Bengaluru South has been with the saffron party since 1991. Former union minister Ananth Kumar, who died last year, won this seat for the BJP for six times In the last elections, Kumar had defeated Nandan Nilekani by over two lakh votes. The BJP is relying on the work done by Ananth Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.