Notable Figures in the First Phase of Lok Sabha Elections Across 21 States; Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju, and More

New Delhi, 18th April 2024: The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections is set to feature nine Union ministers, two former chief ministers, and a former governor among the candidates. This initial phase encompasses 102 seats across 21 states and begins with voting in all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu and five seats in Uttarakhand on Friday. Voting will also take place in all seven phases in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. Vote counting is scheduled for June 4.

Polling hours will run from 7 AM to 6 PM, with the Election Commission deploying over 1.8 million polling personnel at 1,87,000 polling stations for approximately 166.3 million voters.

Key Contests:

– Nitin Gadkari: The Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India is running in Nagpur, facing off against Vikas Thakre, a Congress MLA from Nagpur West. Gadkari’s previous victories include defeating former Union Minister Vilas Muttemwar in 2014 and Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole in 2019.

– Kiren Rijiju: The Minister of Earth Sciences of India, Kiren Rijiju, has been representing Arunachal West since 2004. This year, he faces former chief minister Nabam Tuki of the Congress.

– Sarbananda Sonowal: After serving as Assam’s chief minister, Sonowal transitioned to a Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Ports and AYUSH. He is now running for Dibrugarh, where he won in 2004 as an Asom Gana Parishad candidate. His competitors are Assam Jatiya Parishad’s Lurinjyoti Gogoi and Aam Aadmi Party’s Manoj Dhanowar.

Other Notable Candidates:

– Sanjeev Baliyan is running in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar against Samajwadi Party’s Harindra Malik and BSP’s Dara Singh Prajapati.

– Jitendra Singh aims for a third term in Udhampur, facing off against Congress leader Chaudhary Lal Singh.

– Bhupendra Yadav is contesting from Rajasthan against Congress MLA Lalit Yadav.

– Arjun Ram Meghwal faces a challenge from former Congress Minister Govind Ram Meghwal in Bikaner, Rajasthan.

– L Murugan competes in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris against DMK’s A Raja.

– Tamilisai Soundararajan, a former Telangana governor, represents the BJP in Chennai South, facing DMK’s T Sumathy and AIADMK’s J Jayavardhan.

– Nisith Pramanik is contesting from Coochbehar in West Bengal against Trinamool Congress candidate Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia.

These high-profile candidates add intensity to the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, making the contests particularly noteworthy as they unfold across various regions.