Big face-offs in the Phase-2
95 Lok Sabha and One union territory voted today in the second phase of elections in India. We bring you the major electoral battles witnessed today between:
- LS seat: Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu
Kanimozhi (DMK) vs. Tamilisai Soundararajan (BJP)
Two power women of Tamil Nadu went head-to-head in the Thoothukudi constituency; Kanimozhi – DMK leader and member Rajya Sabha faced BJP state president for Tamil Nadu Tamilisai Soundararajan.
The biggest issue facing the constituency is the contentious Sterlite Copper factory. In May last year, 13 anti-factory protestors lost their lives in police firing, and the ruling AIADMK faces blame for the same. The Christian community in the area are mostly favouring the Cong-DMK alliance whereas the influential Nader community leans towards the BJP.
The Toothukudi Lok Sabha seat is held by J.Jeyasingh Thiyaraj Natterjee
- LS seat: Tumakuru, Karnataka
HD Deve Gowda (JDS-Cong) vs. GS Basavaraj (BJP)
Both candidates face the voters with water availability the biggest issues in this water-scarce region of Karnataka. Of 16 Lok Sabha elections held, Congress has won 10, BJP 4, JD(S) 1, and Praja Socialist Party 1.
In 2014, GS Basavaraj (BJP) lost to M Gowda (Cong); in 2019 former Prime Minister HD Deva Gowda (JD(S) comes in strong with support from Cong. Its advantage JD(S)-Cong.
- LS seat: Raiganj, West Bengal
Deepa Dasmunsi (Cong vs. Mohd Salim (CPI-M)
Raiganj has been a Congress stronghold returning candidates 13 times to Lok Sabha. In 2009, Deepa Das Munsi (Cong) won the seat but in 2014, lost narrowly to CPI(M) candidate Mohd. Salim.
In 2019, the Cong and CPI(M) both face an aggressive BJP and TMC. TMC demonstrated their strength sweeping the recent panchayat polls, but BJP has built a stronger base in Raiganj. The four-cornered contest remains wide open.
- LS seat: Srinagar, J&K
Farooq Abdullah (NC) vs. the rest
Normally, Farooq Abdullah would not be too confident fighting these elections save for the fact the BJP has created a fear situation announcing its intentions to scrap Article 370 and Article 35(A) in J&K. Locals are fed up with PDP and remain vehemently opposed to the BJP, so much, so the party has been forced to change its color from saffron to green in the state for these elections. Abdullah has taken up a very vocal position in opposing the removal of the two constitutional provisions and is hoping to capitalize on voter sentiment against BJP’s proposal.
Other Highlights of the Day
Akhilesh Yadav ready for battle from Azamgarh
Former CM and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav filed his nomination papers from Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency, a seat won by his father in 2014. He was accompanied by alliance partner Satish Chandra Mishra of BSP. He faces BJP’s candidate and Bhojpuri actor Dinesh Lal Yadav a.k.a. Nirahua.
Akhilesh followed up his nomination with a public rally where he took on BJP’s failed promise of a new India. SP is in alliance with the BSP and Akhilesh holds the advantage here.
Violence mars Bengal polls
India Today reported sporadic violence marred the second phase of voting in parts of West Bengal. Raiganj Lok Sabha candidate Mohd Salim’s (CPI-M) convoy was attacked by unknown miscreants when he was traveling to the Islampur polling booth in Uttar Dinajpur district. His car was damaged, and the paramilitary staff escorted him to the nearest booth for protection. Mohd Salim later pointed to TMC supporters responsible for instigating the attack.
At Kataphulbari in Raiganj, a local TV reporter and cameraman were reportedly manhandled by miscreants.
Debasree Chaudhuri, the BJP candidate form Raiganj, claimed TMC workers tried to capture the Coronation High School booth in Raiganj.
In Chopra, Uttar Dinajpur, locals complained of TMC workers preventing voters from casting votes. Miscreants damaged an EVM in one of the polling booths.