Lok Sabha Polls 2019: The 12 Biggest Battles In Third Phase Of Lok Sabha Election Today

Lok Sabha Election 2019: Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP chief Amit Shah's respective constituencies are going to polls today.

Lok Sabha Polls 2019: The 12 Biggest Battles In Third Phase Of Lok Sabha Election Today

General Elections 2019: Azam Khan and Jaya Prada are contesting in Rampur (File)

New Delhi: The third phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha election is the biggest of the seven rounds, with a maximum of 116 seats going to polls. It is also enormous with respect to the stature of leaders contesting in this round of polling. While BJP President Amit Shah and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi are contesting in their respective seats, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, a Congress veteran, is also hoping to be reelected from his seat. This phase is also witnessing some of the most intense contests in Indian politics.

  1. Rahul Gandhi vs PP Suneer: Rahul Gandhi vs PP Suneer: Kerala's Wayanad is the most high profile constituency in the third phase. The simple reason for that is Congress President Rahul Gandhi's nomination from the seat. This is for the first time that Mr Gandhi, who won the 2014 election from stronghold Amethi, has chosen to contest in two seats. He is facing CPI's PP Suneer, fielded by Kerala's ruling LDF alliance. The NDA has fielded Thushar Vellappally of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS). Wayanad has significant Muslim and Christian populations. Critics of the Congress say it is a safe seat and offers no real challenge. In Wayanad, women outnumber men voters.

  2. Jaya Prada vs Azam Khan: When two friends-turned-rivals take on each other, nothing less than an explosive contest is expected. While the BJP has fielded former Rampur parliamentarian Jaya Prada, the Samajwadi Party has placed its trust on veteran leader Azam Khan. Both the leaders have fought a pitched battle while campaigning, firing salvos at each other. Jaya Prada, who scored two parliamentary polls wins as a Samajwadi Party candidate in the past, alleged she was harassed at the behest of Mr Khan, which forced her to leave the constituency. Mr Khan elicited outrage for a controversial comment against Jaya Prada. He was censured by the Election Commission for the comment. The constituency has a sizable Muslim population. But Jaya Prada is confident. She told NDTV in an interview that people from all the communities voted for her in the past.

  3. Amit Shah vs CJ Chavda: Although not many political experts will expect a huge upset in the BJP stronghold of Gujarat's Gandhinagar, the wiser ones have always said, never take the Indian voter for granted. So even though BJP president Amit Shah may score an easy win this time, despite being a first-time candidate who is filling in the shoes of party veteran LK Advani, there may be many messages to read in just how big or small the win is. The biggest one perhaps is will he get more votes or less. He is up against the Congress's CJ Chavda, a two-time MLA from Gandhinagar North.

  4. Shashi Tharoor vs Kummanam Rajashekaran vs C Divakaran: Sitting Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor is facing a triangular contest in Thiruvananthapuram, where the BJP has fielded former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan and the CPI C Divakaran. This time, the Sabarimala temple issue is a major poll issue and the BJP, which opposed the LDF government, might benefit from it. Despite stiff competition, Mr Tharoor remains a popular leader. Will he get his third term or the BJP will score its maiden win? The people of the constituency will decide today.

  5. Queen Ojha vs Bobeeta Sarma:  Guwahati has 17 candidates contesting for the Lok Sabha seat , including five women, with the contest likely to be between two candidates -- BJP's Queen Ojha and Congress's Bobbeeta Sarma. The BJP had won the 2009 and 2014 polls and is hoping to pull a hattrick. To beat the anti-incumbency factor, the party has replaced its candidate, fielding former mayor Ms Ojha.

  6. Mallikarjun Kharge vs Umesh Jadhav: Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress's most popular face in the South, has never lost an election. Even when the tide was against the Congress in 2014, his constituency, Karnataka's Gulbarga, handed him a second term as a parliamentarian. The electoral equation this time, however, is a bit tricky. Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav has switched over to the BJP and is giving a tough competition to the Congress veteran.

  7. Ananth Kumar Hegde vs Anand Asnotikar: Ananth Kumar Hegde, a sitting BJP parliamentarian from Uttara Kannada, is seeking re-election from the same seat. The Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is pitted against JDS' Anand Asnotikar. Mr Asnotikar is a former BJP Minister who had lost as JDS candidate from Karwar in the 2018 assembly polls.

  8. Sambit Patra vs Pinaki Mishra: The fight in Puri is the contest between spokespersons of three political parties. BJP's Sambit Patra is pitted against sitting parliamentarian Pinaki Mishra, a spokesman of the ruling BJD. The Congress has fielded its state unit media cell chairman and chief spokesman Satya Prakash Nayak. Mr Patra, known for his animated television debates, is living as a hermit would. Mr Mishra is among the four party lawmakers who have been renominated by the BJD to contest the election. He has criticised Mr Patra's attire and dubbed him a product of Modi government's falsehood. Mr Patra has released a special manifesto for the temple town. "I was sent by Narendra Modi and called by Lord Jagannath. You cannot fight from here unless blessed by Lord Jagannath," he had said. Mr Mishra says he is merely using the God's name for votes.

  9. Sharad Yadav vs Pappu Yadav: It's a direct contest between Sharad Yadav and sitting parliament Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav in Bihar's Madhepura. After filing his nomination, Pappu Yadav said the people of the constituency would vote for the son of the soil and not an outsider. Mr Yadav is contesting from his newly formed party, which will be merged in Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal after the polls.

  10. Shivpal Yadav vs Akshay Yadav: It's a family battle in Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad. Akshay Yadav, son of Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, is the sitting lawmaker from here. He will take on his uncle Shivpal Yadav, a former Samajwadi Party leader who was forced to resign after a family feud in the party.

  11.  Santosh Gangwar vs Bhagwat Saran Gangwar vs Praveen Singh Aron: In western Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly, it's a triangular contest between the BJP, the Congress and the SP-BSP alliance. It has been a BJP stronghold, with Union Minister Santosh Gangwar winning successive elections since 1989. The only exception was when Congress's Praveen Singh Aron defeated him in 2009. Adding spice in the mix is Bhagwat Saran Gangwar, who is a Samajwadi Party legislator. While the BJP hopes to get the upper caste and other backward caste votes, both the Congress and the alliance candidates are hoping to get the support of the Muslim community.

  12. BY Raghavendra vs Madhu Bangarappa: One of the seats going to the polls on Tuesday is Karnataka's Shivamogga, which will witness a battle between sons of two former chief ministers. BY Raghavendra, the son of former chief minister and state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa, is contesting against Madhu Bangarappa of the JDS, who is the son of the late S Bangarappa. This was the same contest as last year's by-election - made necessary after BS Yeddyurappa quit as a parliamentarian to join the state assembly. Mr Raghavendra won that round.