Lok Sabha polls: Prestige battle for Rahul Gandhi, 2 Union ministers also in poll fray in Kerala | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha polls: Prestige battle for Rahul Gandhi, 2 Union ministers also in poll fray in Kerala

Apr 25, 2024 08:35 PM IST

A total of 194 candidates in 20 seats are in fray in Kerala, witnessing a between the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF, Congress-headed UDF, and the BJP-led NDA

The second phase of 18th Lok Sabha elections will occur on Friday, April 26. Among the states going to polls is Kerala, which sends 20 members to the Lok Sabha.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi

At least 194 candidates in 20 constituencies are vying for voters' support in this high-octane contest between the CPI(M)-led ruling Left Democratic Front, Congress-headed United Democratic Front, and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. This time there are 2,77,49,159 voters in the state out of which more than five lakh are first-time voters, the Election Commission said.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the UDF won 19 of the 20 seats, while the LDF had to settle for just a single seat.

ALSO READ: Kerala votes: Will a rising BJP help LDF’s cause or is UDF returning comfortably?

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Here's a brief look at all the 20 constituencies of Kerala that go to polls:-

1. Wayanad
Wayanad is the most keenly watched constituency in this election. Sitting MP and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election from this seat. He is pitted against Communist Party of India (CPI) face Annie Raja and state BJP chief K Surendran. In the 2019 election, Gandhi defeated PP Suneer of CPI by over 4 lakh votes.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha election 2024: Which are the key seats in Phase 2 voting?

2. Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, is witnessing an exciting contest between three-time Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the BJP. CPI's Pannyan Raveendran is the LDF candidate from this constituency.

ALSO READ: How to check your polling booth for voting in phase 2 of Lok Sabha election 2024

3. Thrissur
Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi of the BJP is in the fray from Thrissur against K Muraleedharan of Congress and VS Sunil Kumar of CPI(M). In 2019, TN Prathapan of Congress had defeated CPI(M)'s Rajaji Mathew Thomas.

4. Alappuzha
The contest for the Alappuzha seat in Kerala has turned into a prestige battle for the Congress with its general secretary K C Venugopal’s return to the Lok Sabha poll fray after 2014 as the party looks to wrest the only seat it lost to the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in its landslide 19-1 victory in Kerala in the 2019 polls. Venugopal has not lost any major election in his career. He won the Alappuzha Assembly seat thrice in a row in 1996, 2001, and 2006 and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Alappuzha in 2009 and 2014.

5. Kottayam: This constituency has the highest number of candidates- 14. Local MP and LDF candidate Chazhikkadan is the nominee of the Kerala Congress (Mani), and former Lok Sabha member Francis George is the candidate of the Kerala Congress (Joseph), an ally of the opposition UDF. Chazhikadan won the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as a UDF candidate, and his party KC(M) later switched to LDF due to its leadership's differences with the Congress leaders in the state.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 2: List of documents required for voting

6. Kasaragod
Kasaragod, which shares a border with neighbouring Karnataka, is known for its linguistic diversity. According to the 2011 census, 82.07 per cent of people here speak Malayalam, 4.02 per cent speak Kannada, 8.08 per cent Tulu and 1.8 per cent Marathi. The BJP has fielded Ashwini ML from the constituency. She is contesting against sitting Congress MP Unnithan and ruling CPI (M)'s popular local leader M V Balakrishnan Master.

7. Kannur
The Northern Kerala constituency of Kannur is witnessing an intense battle between the Congress and the CPI(M), while the BJP is focusing on the newly registered young voters to make an impact in the seat. the Congress has fielded Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief K Sudhakaran against M V Jayarajan, the Kannur district secretary of the CPI(M).

8. Vadakara
Senior CPI(M) leader KK Shailaja is trying her luck from the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat against Congress' Shafi Parambil and the BJP's Praful Krishna. The Vadakara constituency stands out with the highest number of female candidates, at four. The campaign was marred by allegations of cyber attacks and apprehensions about bogus voting.

9. Kozhikode

Senior BJP leader MT Ramesh has been fielded from the Kozhikode seat, wherein he will be contesting against Elamaram Kareem of CPI(M) and MK Raghavan of the Congress. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Raghavan had won from here by defeating CPI(M) candidate A Pradeep Kumar.

10. Malappuram
In Malappuram, the BJP has fielded Dr. Abdul Salam who is contesting against VA Vaseef from the Communist Party Of India (Marxist) and ET Mohammad Bashir from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

11. Ponnani
In 2019, IUML's E T Mohammed Basheer won this seat with 5,21,824 votes out of the total 10,17,265, and Left candidate P V Anvar came second with 3,28,551 votes. BJP candidate Rema got 10.87 per cent of the total votes.

12. Palakkad
Palakkad will witness a triangular fight between sitting UDF MP VK Sreekandan, BJP's C. Krishnakumar and LDF's A Vijayaraghavan.

13. Alathur
In the previous general election, Congress candidate Ramya Haridas won with 5,33,815 out of the total 10,18,743 and CPI(M)'s P K Biju came second with 3,74,847.

14. Chalakudy
Congress's Benny Behanan won in 2019 with 4,73,444 votes out of the total of 9,90,224 and veteran actor and CPI(M)'s late Innocent came second with 3,41,170 votes.

15. Ernakulam
In 2019, Congress' Hibi Eden won with 4,91,263 votes out of the total 9,67,203 and CPI(M)'s P Rajeev came second with 3,22,110 votes.

16. Idukki
Congress' Dean Kuriakose won by polling 4,98,493 votes out of the total of 9,19,297 and Joice George, an independent candidate, came second with 3,27,440 votes in 2019.

17. Mavelikkara
Congress' Kodikunnil Suresh won by polling 4,40,415 out of the total of 9,71,035 votes and CPI's Chittayam Gopakumar came second with 3,79,277 votes.

18. Pathanamthitta
Congress' Anto Antony came first by getting 3,80,927 out of the total 10,26,553 with CPI(M)'s Veena George coming second by polling 3,36,684 votes and BJP's K Surendran third with 2,97,396 votes.

19. Kollam
UDF ally Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) fielded N K Premachandran in 2019 who won with 4,99,677 votes out of the total 9,68,123 and CPI(M)'s K N Balagopal got 3,50,821 votes.

20. Attingal
Congress-led UDF has fielded sitting MP Adoor Prakash against BJP candidate and Union Minister V Muraleedharan. In 2019, Prakash won with 3,80,995 votes out of the total of 10,04,888. CPI(M)'s Dr A Sampath and BJP's Sobha Surendran came second and third with 3,42,748 and 2,48,081 votes, respectively.

(With PTI inputs)

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