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Lok Sabha Election 2019: Clash of titans on cards in fifth phase polling

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New Delhi, May 06: The fifth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections would be held on Monday across 51 parliamentary seats in seven states. Voters would cast their ballot in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir.

File photo of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi

The Election Comission has set up 94,000 polling stations/booths and made elaborate security arrangements. In the fifth and smallest phase, total 8.75 crore voters will decide the fate of 674 candidates.

With this phase, election will be over in 424 seats and polling in the remaining 118 seats will be held on May 12 and 19.

The most interesting part about the upcoming phase is that the voters would decide the fate of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Here we take a look at the key candidates in fray

Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is contesting from his family bastion of Amethi, a constituency he has held continuously since 2004. Just like the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he is pitted against Union Minister Smriti Irani. In the last parliamentary polls, Gandhi won the election by a margin of more than 1 lakh votes, but the BJP leader managed to bag an impressive 3.01 lakh votes. The SP and BSP have not fielded a candidate from Amethi.

Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is seeking re-election from Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency. Singh, the former BJP president, had emerged winner in the 2009 parliamentary polls from Ghaziabad but contested the 2014 election from Uttar Pradesh's capital. In the 2014 polls, he defeated the then Congress candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi by a margin of some 2.8 lakh votes.

Sonia Gandhi

The UPA chairperson is seeking re-election from Rae Bareli who has held the seat since 2004. The BJP has pitted Dinesh Pratap Singh on the four-time parliamentarian. He is seen as a strong man who could give Sonia a direct fight. Singh recently left Congress and joined the saffron party.

In this election, the seat holds significance because Sonia Gandhi has taken a step back from active party politics, handing over the reins of the party to her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Jitendra Singh

Former union minister Jitendra Singh, who belongs to the region's erstwhile royal family, is the Congress candidate from Rajasthan's Alwar Lok Sabha constituency. Facing him is BJP's Balak Nath, whose guru Chand Nath, the leader of a Rohtak-based math, had defeated Jitendra Singh by a margin of over 2 lakh votes.

Arjun Munda

The Khunti Lok Sabha seat has become one of Jharkhand's high profile parliamentary constituencies as the state's three-term chief minister and BJP's tallest tribal face Arjun Munda has thrown his hat into the ring.

A BJP stronghold since 1989, people of the constituency have shown indomitable faith towards the saffron party by electing its candidate Karia Munda for eight terms.

Rajyavardhan Rathore

Sitting BJP MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, minister with independent charge of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and sports, goes up against the Congress' Krishna Poonia, an international gold medalist in discus throw, and a sitting MLA from Sadulpur in Rajasthan.

Dinesh Trivedi

Former railway minister and TMC candidate Dinesh Trivedi is fighting against Arjun Singh of the BJP and Gargi Chatterjee of CPM from Barrackpore in West Bengal. Arjun Singh, a four-time TMC MLA, had switched to BJP after Trivedi's nomination from the seat.

In Jharkhand, two former chief ministers Babulal Marandi, the leader of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), and Arjun Munda of the BJP are contesting from the Koderma and Khunti seats, respectively, while Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha is seeking re-election from Hazaribag

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