Voting for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections has begun today with people of 91 out of 543 seats will cast their votes to choose their representative in the parliament. Fates of several union ministers along with other heavyweights will be decided today.
Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari is contesting from Nagpur who is up against Congress’ Nana Patole. Patole is a former BJP leader who had defeated NCP’s Praful Patel from Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency. In 2014, Gadkari had defeated Congress’ Vilas Muttemwar. Nagpur is also the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju will fight it out in Arunachal West constituency against former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Congress leader Nabam Tuki. He also faces National People’s Party’s Khyoda Apik. Ghaziabad’s sitting MP General VK Singh (Retd.) will fight it out against Congress’ Dolly Sharma. The junior minister in Ministry of External Affairs also faces Samajwadi Party-BSP-RLD alliance candidate Suresh Bansal (Samajwadi Party).
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma from Gautam Buddh Nagar will face BSP’s Satveer Nagar and Congress’ Arvind Singh. Union Minister and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh will face RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary. In 2014, Singh had defeated Jayant’s father, RLD chief Ajit Singh. Ajit Singh, the son of the former prime minister, Chaudhary Charan Singh, is the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate for the crucial seat of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh and will take on BJP’s Sanjiv Balyan. BJP ally Lok Janshakti Dal’s Chirag Paswan from Jamui, Bihar made his electoral debut in 2014. He is contesting for his second term.
Congress leader and son of former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is currently the sitting MP of Kaliabor constituency. In 2014, he had won it with 4,43,315 votes defeating BJP’s Mrinal Kumar Saikia who got 3,49,441 votes. This time, Gogoi takes on Asom Gana Parishad’s Moni Madhab Mahanta. Congress’ Renuka Chowdhary fights it out in Khammam Lok Sabha seat in Andhra Pradesh while AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi will fight it out from Hyderabad, Telangana. Owaisi has held this seat since 2004. Uttarakhand Congress leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat will also fight it out today.