Top contests of 2014: Raj Babbar vs VK Singh vs Shazia Ilmi

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Ghaziabad, March 19: Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency of Uttar Pradesh has become a 'spice up' battleground as the "high-profile" bigwigs of Congress, BJP and AAP have been pitted against each other in the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2014.

Ghaziabad constituency came into existence in 2008 and prior to that it was under Hapur constituency. Ghaziabad is a crucial district as it is bordered by Delhi across the Yamuna River.

It consists of five legislative assembly segments: Ghaziabad, Sahibabad, Loni, Muradnagar and Dhaulana.

It is currently represented by the BJP president Rajnath Singh.

[Read: Top contests of 2014]

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2009 result: Rajnath Singh won the elections from Ghaziabad by getting 359,637 votes and defeated Congress party's Surendra Prakash Goel who got 268,956 votes and BSP's Pt Amar Pal Sharma who got 180,285 votes.

Ghaziabad will go to polls on April 10.

About Raj Babbar (Congress)

Actor-turned-politician, 61-year old Raj Babbar is a present MP from Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh. He was earlier associated with Samajwadi Party (SP).

In 2009, Babbar won his successive fourth term by defeating Dimple Yadav, wife of UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, in a bye-election.

Babbar has already started his poll campaign by holding a road-show in Ghaziabad on Saturday.

In his address, Babbar said he was the one who supported Ghaziabad farmers against forceful land acquisition by the then Samajwadi Party government.

In July 2013, Babbar had created a controversy by saying a common man get full meal in Rs 12 in Mumbai and a poor person in India can get full meals two times a day, within Rs 28 to Rs 32, but after drawing criticism from rival parties, he had to aplogise for his comments.

[Read: Raj Babbar ji, now we know why Mumbai eatery was attacked ]

About General VK Singh (BJP)

63-year-old former Army chief retired Genral V K Singh, who hails from Haryana, was formally announced as Ghaziabad candidate from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, overruling protests by the party workers, who consider him as an outsider.

Singh, who didn't share good rapport with the UPA government during his tenure as the army chief over his age- row, jumped into the India against Corruption (IAC) movement led by the Gandhian Anna Hazare, post his retirement on May 31, 2012.

But, he finally opted for BJP on March 1 to make a debut in his political career. BJP is pinning hopes on Singh's Rajput credentials to win the upper caste votes.

About Shazia Ilmi Malik (AAP)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s candidate and social activist Shazia Ilmi, who is making her debut in the parliamentary polls says her party will do everything it can to end the "step-motherly" treatment of Ghaziabad.

She has said that development of Ghaziabad will be her party's election plank.

"No caste, no creed and no other lucrative slogans. Our mantra will be development", she has said.

Ilmi, who narrowly lost the Delhi assembly election to BJP's Anil Kumar Sharma from RK Puram, is also a familiar face in Ghaziabad, thanks in part to her journalistic past.

Earlier, Ilmi's name was doing the rounds for Rae Bareily constituency, but she refused to fight elections against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and said she cannot fight from outside Delhi because of family reasons.

"I have never been to Rae Bareli and I don't know anyone there. I would have been just happier to contest from Delhi", she had said.

A master in mass communication, Ilmi was a journalist with Zee News and Star News when she decided to plunge into politics.

Ilmi is said to be the richest candidate in AAP and her husband is a businessman who owns huge properties in and outside Delhi.

Ilmi hails from Kanpur and belongs to a family of politicians and journalists.

Analysis: The three-way fight among Raj Babbar, VK Singh and Shazia Ilmi will be an interesting one as all three are from different walks of life.

Babbar's close association with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi can be a game changer as during 2009 bye-elections, Rahul had extensively campaigned for Babbar in Firozabad, that led to his victory against SP's Dimple Yadav.

V K Singh's army background and his clean image may garner him votes.

Ilmi's winnability can be seen in the fact that Ghaziabad has emerged as a working hub of AAP with its headquarters situated there and also the AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal resides there.

OneIndia News

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