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Take Your Pick!

Take Your Pick!

From film stars to cricketers and political mavericks – this Lok Sabha election will witness debutantes from across professions. The intent – largely to woo masses with their popular appeal. This year, the desperation seems real with a number of high-profile signings and switches across political colours

BJP

First innings

Gautam Gambhir: Speculations are ripe that he will be awarded a ticket from Delhi. He joined BJP earlier this year and has been vocal about his views on governance and politics. On social media, he has been a front-running critic of AAP.

Constituency: Undecided; one of the 7 constituencies of Delhi

Polling date: Delhi polls on May 12

Jaya Prada: Two-time MP from Rampur for Samajwadi Party, Prada is now Contesting for BJP from the same Rampur seat after being formally included on March 26. Jaya Prada entered politics in 1994 with Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Later, she joined Samajwadi Party but was expelled due to anti-party activities in 2010.

Constituency: Rampur, Uttar Pradesh

Polling date: April 23, 2019

Deepa Malik: The first Indian woman gold medalist at paralympics, Malik Joined BJP last week from Haryana and could contest polls this time as the state's BJP candidate list is yet to be declared.

Constituency: Undecided, possible from Haryana

Polling date: Haryana polls on May 12

Amit Shah: Hardly unknown, Shah will make his poll debut this time from Gandhinagar, a most relevant seat for BJP. Earlier, Advani and Vajpayee have both contested from this seat. He has previously been an MLA from Sarkhej.

Constituency: Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Poll date: April 23, 2019

Ravi Shankar Prasad: Contesting for the first time in his life as a politician from Patna Sahib constituency, Prasad is replacing Shatrughan Sinha who was earlier denied a ticket by BJP.

Constituency: Patna Sahib, Bihar

Date: April 29, 2019

Tejasvi Surya: A possible celebrity in the making, Surya, contesting from Karnataka's high-profile Bengaluru South constituency will contest his first election this year. A 28-year-old lawyer, he is the general secretary of BJP's youth wing in Karnataka. His fiery speeches and blunt messages across social media have garnered massive support.

Constituency: Bangalore South, Karnataka

Poll date: April 18, 2019


CONGRESS

Urmila Matondkar: A known face, Matondkar's political ambitions were hitherto unknown. She is up against sitting BJP MP Gopal Shetty, who beat Sanjay Nirupam last time with a 3.8 lakh margin. Govinda was earlier fielded from here against veteran Ram Naik and had won.

Constituency: Mumbai North, Maharashtra

Poll date: April 29, 2019

Shatrughan Sinha: Sinha quit BJP after being denied the Patna Sahib constituency and will now rally from the same seat for Congress. Had been dissenting against the current dispensation for a while and even attended Mamata Banerjee's January anti-BJP rally in Kolkata.

Constituency: Patna Sahib, Bihar

Poll date: May 19, 2019

Manvendra Singh: Son of Jaswant Singh, one of the founding members of BJP, Manvendra had contested from the same Barmer seat with a BJP ticket in 2004 and won. He switched from BJP to Congress in August 2018.

Constituency: Barmer, Rajasthan

Poll date: April 29, 2019

Sadhvi Savitri Bai Phule: An Uttar Pradesh MLA in 2012, Savitri later joined the 16th Lok Sabha from BJP in 2014. She quit BJP in December, as a reaction to hatred and atrocities against the cause of lower castes, but continues in Lok Sabha. Now, she has joined Congress and will fight her seat from previously-held Bahraich.

Constituency: Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh

Poll date: May 6, 2019

Tariq Anwar: NCP leader and sitting MP of Katihar, Anwar left NCP in September 2018 to join Congress and will contest elections from the same seat this time but for a different party. He has earlier been very vocal against Congress – things now look different.

Constituency: Katihar, Bihar

Poll date: April 18, 2019

Satyaprakash Nayak: Primetime TV host in Odisha, Nayak is being fielded against Sambit Patra from Puri. He joined Congress in 2017 and is also its media cell chairman in Odisha. He will contest his first Lok Sabha elections against Patra and the sitting BJD MP, another spokesperson, making the Puri assembly seat fight a battle between media representatives of parties.

Constituency: Puri, Odisha

Poll date: April 23, 2019

Krishna Punia: MLA from Sadulpur constituency, Arjuna awardee and ace athlete, Punia will contest her first LS poll for Congress from Jaipur Rural against a formidable opponent: Minister of State and sitting MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Constituency: Jaipur Rural, Rajasthan

Poll date: May 6, 2019

Vaibhav Gehlot: Son of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Vaibhav is contesting for the first time from Jodhpur constituency against BJP veteran Gajendra Singh Sekhawat.

Constituency: Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Poll date: April 29, 2019


Regional forces

Kanimozhi Karunanidhi: Daughter of DMK patriarch Karunanidhi and Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu, Kanimozhi will make her LS debut from Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) in an exciting contest against BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan.

Constituency: Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu

Poll date: April 18, 2019

Mimi Chakraborty: Adding to this election's star-studded list is Mimi Chakraborty, TMC's chosen candidate from Kolkata's Jadavpur constituency. Earlier held by Harvard Professor Sugata Bose of TMC, she will be up against Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, former Mayor under CPI-M, and BJP's Anupam Hazra, earlier expelled from TMC

Constituency: Jadavpur, West Bengal

Poll date: May 19, 2019

Nusrat Jahan: Another one of didi's chosen flagbearers, Nusrat is widely loved across Bengal. She is up against BJP's state general secretary Sayantan Basu and has already been trolled and harassed by you-know-who's digital soldiers.

Constituency: Basirhat, West Bengal

Poll date: May 19, 2019

V V Lakshmi Narayana: A former joint director of CBI who was in the limelight for his investigation into the quid pro quo scam involving YS Jaganmohan Reddy and several bureaucrats, Narayana will fight the elections from Visakhapatnam on a Jana Sena ticket.

Constituency: Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Poll date: April 11, 2019

Prakash Raj: Multilingual actor Prakash Raj surprised both his adversaries and numerous fans when he announced that he would contest as an Independent candidate from Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency.

Constituency: Bengaluru Central, Karnataka

Date of Polling: April 18, 2019

Kanhaiya Kumar: JNU's greatest 'anti-national', Kumar has survived the ugly face of this rule. He will make his election debut from Bihar for CPI-M, in a deal that compromised the party's alliance with RJD. He is up against Tanveer Hasan and BJP's Giriraj Singh.

Constituency: Begusarai, Bihar

Date of Polling: April 29, 2019

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