Lok Sabha Polls: Ex-CMs Mehbooba, Khattar among key contestants in 6th round

Story by  ANI | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 25-05-2024
Key contestants in the sixth round of polling
Key contestants in the sixth round of polling


New Delhi

The penultimate round of the mammoth Lok Sabha battle will see polling on 58 seats across six states and two union territories on Saturday, with the Election Commission having made all arrangements to ensure smooth and peaceful voting. Two former Chief Minister - Mehbooba Mufti (J&K) and Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana) are among the star contestants in this round.

The sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls includes eight seats in Bihar, all 10 seats in Haryana, one seat in Jammu and Kashmir, four in Jharkhand, all seven seats in Delhi, six in Odisha, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, and eight in West Bengal. A total of 889 candidates are in the fray.

Forty-two assembly constituencies in Odisha are also going for polls in the sixth phase. Assembly elections are being held in the state simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections in the state. All parliamentary seats in Delhi and Haryana will go to the polls in this phase. The prominent candidates in the fray include two former Chief Ministers - Manohar Lal Khattar and Mehbooba Mufti.

Khattar is contesting as the BJP candidate from Karnal and Mehbooba Mufti as the PDP nominee from Anantnag-Rajouri. Some of the prominent candidates in the fray include Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. Bansuri Swaraj, Somnath Bharti, Manoj Tiwari, Kanhaiya Kumar, Dinesh Lal Yadav alias 'Nirahua', Dharmendra Yadav, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Agnimitra Paul, Naveen Jindal, Raj Babbar, Deepender Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja and Aparajita Sarangia are among other prominent candidates in the fray.

Some of the key seats in this phase include New Delhi, North-East Delhi, North-West Delhi and Chandni Chowk in the national capital and Sultanpur and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag-Rajouri, West Bengal's Tamluk, Medinipur, Haryana's Karnal, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, Rohtak and Odisha's Bhubaneswar, Puri and Sambalpur are some of the other key seats. Stakes are high for the BJP as also for Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and other constituents of INDIA bloc in this phase of the election.

The riveting contest in Delhi has AAP and Congress jointly taking on the BJP, which won all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital in the last two elections. While Congress is contesting on three seats in the national capital, AAP is contesting on four. The two parties are part of the INDIA bloc.

The BJP campaign has been bolstered by rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other party leaders. Senior leaders of Congress have also held rallies in the national capital. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been released on interim bail by the Supreme Court in the Delhi excise policy case, also sought votes for AAP and Congress candidates.

AAP and Congress have also joined hands in Haryana where BJP won all the seats in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Some seats in the state, including Hisar, are witnessing multi-cornered contests. Apart from BJP and Congress, the electoral stakes are high for INLD, Jannayak Janata Party in Haryana. The state will also go for assembly polls months after the Lok Sabha election.

Odisha is also seeing some key battles in Sambalpur, Bhubaneshwar and Puri. Election Commission said that the concerned CEOs and state officials have been directed to take adequate measures to manage the adverse impact of hot weather or rainfall wherever predicted. Polling stations will have ample shade, drinking water, ramps, toilets, and other basic facilities to ensure that polling takes place in a comfortable and secure environment.

The Election Commission appealed to voters to turn out in large numbers at polling stations and vote with responsibility and pride. It specially reminded voters in urban centres like Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad about the right and duty to vote and break the trend of urban apathy.

Polling has already has been completed on 428 parliamentary constituencies for 25 states and UTs in the first five phases of general elections. Over 11.13 crore voters include 5.84 crore male, 5.29 crore female and 5120 third gender electors are eligible to exercise their franchise in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls. Around 11.4 lakh polling officials will be involved in conducting his phase of election.

Over 8.93 lakh registered over 85-year-old voters, 23,659 voters above 100 years and 9.58 lakh PwD voters have been provided the option to vote from the comfort of their homes in the penultimate phase of Lok Sabha polls. Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency of Jammu and Kashmir will also vote tomorrow. The poll panel had revised the date of polling from May 7 to May 25 after it received representations for shifting the poll date.

Key candidates and constituencies in the sixth phase

Bansuri Swaraj (BJP) vs Somnath Bharti (AAP):

Bansuri, daughter of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, is contesting from the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat for the BJP. The AAP has fielded senior leader Somnath Bharti from this seat. Outgoing MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who won the 2019 election by a margin of over 280,000 votes, was denied a ticket by the saffron party this time. Both Swaraj and Bharti are lawyers by profession.

Manoj Tiwari (BJP) vs Kanhaiya Kumar (Congress)

Manoj Tiwari, the sitting MP from the North Delhi Lok Sabha seat, is competing against Kumar to retain his seat. Kumar joined the Congress in 2021. This is his second attempt at the Lok Sabha elections after 2019. In 2019, he lost to Union minister and BJP's Giriraj Singh in Begusarai, Bihar under the CPI.

Maneka Gandhi

Former Union minister Maneka Gandhi is contesting from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh with the aim of retaining her parliamentary constituency for the second time. She won the seat in 2019 by a margin of 14,000 votes. It is worth noting that since 1991, the BJP has won this seat in all the Lok Sabha elections except 1999, 2004 and 2009.

Azamgarh, UP

A fierce fight is expected in the Azamgarh seat, where Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav's cousin Dharmendra Yadav and Bhojpuri actor-singer Dinesh Lal Yadav (Nirahua) are contesting. Nirahua is fighting to retain his seat, which he won in the 2022 Lok Sabha by-election after Akhilesh Yadav resigned as MP following his victory as MLA from Mainpuri.

Mehbooba Mufti (PDP)

Voting is also being held on May 25 in Anantnag-Rajouri seat of Jammu and Kashmir, where a four-cornered fight is taking place between People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and her party's Zafar Iqbal Manhas. Both the candidates have the support of BJP and National Conference (NC) leader Mian Altaf and Mohammad Salim Pare of Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP).

Tamluk, West Bengal

Former Calcutta High Court judge and staunch critic of CM Mamata Banerjee, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who recently joined the BJP, is contesting from Tamluk. Hoping to defeat him, TMC has fielded young party spokesperson and poet Debangshu Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya is known for writing TMC's 2022 election song - 'Khela Hobe'.

Karnal, Haryana

Heavyweight candidate and former Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar is contesting from Karnal seat. Khattar is pitted against Haryana Youth Congress president Divyanshu Buddhiraja.


BJP leader and Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh, who hails from the royal Ahir family of erstwhile state Rewari, is fighting to retain his constituency. The Congress has fielded film star Raj Babbar from the seat.

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The Lok Sabha will be completed on June 1 after the seventh phase of polls in which voters from 57 constituencies will exercise their franchise. The results will be declared on June 4.