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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase Two: Key contests between top candidates

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New Delhi, Apr 18: The stage is set for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in which 95 constituencies spread across 13 states and union territories will vote on Thursday in the mega seven-phase electoral exercise. Polling in Vellore, scheduled for today, stands cancelled over abuse of money power while voting in East Tripura constituency has also been deferred from April 18 to April 23.

File photo of Deve Gowda

Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and DMK's Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi are among the 1,600-odd contestants in the second phase of Lok Sabha polls .

Here is the list of key contenders

Farooq Abdullah: The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah will contest from the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. Srinagar has been the bastion of the National Conference for decades and it was a herculean task to beat the oldest regional party on its own turf despite low polling turnout in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Hema Malini: Bollywood "dream girl" of yesteryears, Hema Malini, is seeking re-election after winning the seat in the 2014 general elections. She faces a herculean task this time with the SP-BSP-RLD alliance and the Congress posing a strong challenge.

Ashok Chavan: The sitting Nanded MP and Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan emerged victorius in 2014 General election when the BJP-Shiv Sena combine handed over defeat to most of the incumbents.

Kanimozhi Karunanidhi: Late DMK leader M Karunanidhi's daughter and DMK President MK Stalin's half-sister Kanimozhi is taking on BJP state chief Sundararajan. The Nadar community is predominant here.

A Raja: Former union telecom minister A Raja is contesting again from the reserved seat of Nilgiris. He won from here in the 2009 LS elections.

Karti Chidambaram: It is a prestigious battle for Karti Chidambaram, who is taking on BJP national secretary H Raja. Interestingly, both Karti and Raja contested the 2014 national polls and Raja finished third and Karti fourth in the contest. The Sivaganga Lok Sabha Constituency is an Indian National Congress stronghold, with P Chidambaram having won from here a record seven times.

Danish Ali: Tanwar is the sitting MP of the BJP who will take on Danish Ali, a Janata Dal (Secular) leader contesting on a BSP ticket. Ali, a long-time loyalist of Janata Dal (S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda, joined the Bahujan Samaj Party just ahead of the polls with the blessings of the former prime minister and his son, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Sushmita Dev: Sitting MP from Silchar in Assam Sushmita Dev, daughter of the veteran Congress leader and a fiery debator, Santosh Mohan Dev, triumphed in 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite 'Modi Wave' sweeping the nation.

Prakash Ambedkar: Prakash's fate will be sealed on April 18, in Solapur and Akola - home to his social engineering lab where he conducted successful experiments that he wants to replicate on a larger scale. He has contested elections in Akola for over 30 years but managed a victory only twice, with the Congress's support. However, AIMIM's support in Akola, where Congress has fielded its only Muslim candidate - Hidayat Patel - in the state, has boosted Prakash's prospects.

H D Deve Gowda: A tough battle appears to be on the cards for JDS patriarch H D Deve Gowda in Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency as he is contesting from a Congress bastion amid disquiet in both his party and ally Congress over allocation of seats and tickets.

They, however, do acknowledge the former prime minister's potential to bounce back as he did by winning the Kanakapura byelection in 2002 after he had lost to G Puttaswamy Gowda of Congress in 1999 from Hassan.

Sumalatha: Sumalatha will be taking on Nikhil Kumaraswamy of the JD(S), who is the son of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

She is the wife of actor-turned politician, the late Ambareesh, and has acted in about 220 movies in many south Indian languages as well as Hindi.

Tejaswi Surya: Surya, 28, is new to electoral politics and is facing senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member B K Hari Prasad. Considered to be a prestigious constituency because it is a hub of the information technology industry, Bengaluru South elected BJP leader Anant Kumar or six consecutive terms.

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