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Large-scale Phase 5 elections for the Lok Sabha

The BJP has nominated Ujjwal Nikam as the special public prosecutor for the 26/11 trial in lieu of Poonam Mahajan, the current member of parliament. Nikam, who became an official member of the saffron party in April, will have a difficult time winning this seat.

His opponent is Mumbai leader of the Congress, Varsha Gaikwad, a lawmaker from the nearby assembly constituency of Dharavi who has served as an MLA four times.From Bandra to Santacruz and Kurla, North Central is home to a diverse population that includes Parsis, Muslims, North Indians, Maharashtrians, and East Indian Christians.

The local Congress had demanded the nomination of a minority candidate, but that demand was unfulfilled. Gaikwad has the benefit of both Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of the Shiv Sena (UBT), whose headquarters are in this area, and his expertise running successful election campaigns. Nikam, who brought charges against Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, enjoys the support of the BJP’s ground network as well.
2019 Winner in Nashik: Shiv Sena (Hemant Godse)
Important candidates include Rajabhau Waje (Shiv Sena UBT), Hemant Godse (Shiv Sena), and Shantigiri Maharaj (Ind).
Hemant Godse, a Nashik native who has been winning since 2014, is now facing off against Rajabhau Waje, a former Sinnar MLA and UBT Sena contender and his former party comrade. Godse had to contend with the BJP and NCP, two Mahayuti allies eager to challenge from this position, in order to get a nomination for this esteemed seat. NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal was a well-known figure in the ring, claiming that the BJP central command had suggested his name.

Godse must now make sure that the coalition’s ruling parties behave cohesively. Additionally, he will be hoping that the recent lifting of the export embargo by the Center would be well received by the people in the onion farmers’ belt. Waje will depend on dissatisfaction among farmers and Sena followers endorsing Thackeray. The situation is further complicated by both parties by Shantigiri Maharaj, a prominent Nashik-based seer.

Shiv Sena, the winner of Thane 2019 (Rajan Vichare),
Important candidates: Rajan Vichare (Shiv Sena UBT) and Naresh Mhaske (Shiv Sena). Mahayuti declared its candidacy for this seat, which includes portions of Navi Mumbai and Thane city, late since Sena and BJP were both vying for it. Following the announcement of Sena’s candidacy, followers of Navi Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik resigned in droves. Even though the disagreement was settled in a matter of days, it is unclear if the conflict would have any lasting effects. As the current Member of Parliament for the seat, Sena UBT’s Rajan Vichare had an advantage against the coalition’s final choice, Naresh Mhaske, who had to make up ground.

The fact that Mhaske, the former Thane mayor, is contesting from CM Eknath Shinde’s home ground may yet work in his favor. Both sides need to win this straight-up Sena vs. Sena battle in order to prove that they are the true Shiv Sena.
2019 Hooghly Winner: Locket Chatterjee, BJP
The three main candidates are Manadip Ghosh (CPI-M), Rachana Banerjee (TMC), and Locket Chatterjee (BJP).
This is one of the few Lok Sabha elections when both of the Tollywood stars are running as women. Actor Rachna Banerjee is running in Trinamool colors, while the BJP has nominated incumbent Locket Chatterjee once again in a seat where Mamata Banerjee first rose to prominence as a force against the CPM’s thirty years of control, thanks to the Singur movement against Tata’s Nano plant.

Trinamool Congress battled back in the 2021 state assembly elections and the 2023 panchayat elections, essentially undoing the gains achieved by the BJP after its victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Even though Rachna is a rookie, her wildly popular TV program “Didi No. 1” has made her a household figure in the state, and Trinamool has rallied behind her to reclaim the seat.

Saran 2019: Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP won.
Principal candidates: Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) and Rohini Acharya Yadav (RJD)
This seat, which is well-known for being the birthplace of socialist leader Jayprakash Narayan, has supported the BJP for the last ten years. This time around, however, Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP, a former Union Minister of Skills Development, would find it difficult to win.

He will face Rohini Acharya, the daughter of Lalu Yadav, who gained notoriety in December 2022 after giving a kidney to the RJD patriarch. At the age of 29, Lalu became the youngest member of parliament when she was elected from Chhapra (later Saran) on the Janata Party platform in 1977. She held her seat four times. Following his conviction in the fodder scam, he was barred from running for office. Nevertheless, he nevertheless entered his wife Rabri Devi in 2014 and his samdhi Chandrika Rai in 2019, both of whom lost. Currently, the BJP represents two of the seat’s assembly constituencies and the RJD four.

2019 Bongaon Winner: Shantanu Das of the BJP
Shantanu Thakur (BJP) and Biswajit Das (TMC) are leading competitors.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) pledge set the narrative and helped the BJP win in this region of Matua. Two years later, Bongaon stayed solidly with BJP, helping the party win six of the seven assembly constituencies in the TMC-swept 2021 assembly vote. After five years, CAA still forms the foundation of this campaign.

The difference is that, unlike in 2019, it is already a reality. Nevertheless, there is fear around the exam that each candidate has to pass. The TMC has paired the current Shantanu Thakur, a junior Union minister and the descendant of Matua master Harichand Thakur, with Biswajit Das, a BJP turncoat MLA. Mamata Bala Thakur, Shantanu’s aunt, was nominated by TMC earlier this year to serve as a Rajya Sabha MP.
Winner of Faizabad 2019: BJP (Lallu Singh)
Important candidates include Sachidanand Pandey (BSP), Lallu Singh (BJP), and Awadhesh Prasad (SP).
Lallu Singh, a two-time BJP MP, is hoping to win a hat-trick in this seat, which encompasses Ayodhya, by capitalizing on the excitement around the Ram temple and the government’s “vikas” theme. Singh, a Thakur and a defendant in the Babri demolition case, served as the assembly seat’s five-term MLA for Ayodhya from 1991 to 2007. He will face off against Sachidanand Pandey of the BSP and Awadhesh Prasad of the SP. Nine times an MLA from Sohawal and presently Milkipur, Prasad is a Dalit and a former minister in the state government of Tripura. As an experiment, SP fielded a Dalit in an attempt to capitalize on the significant number of SC voters in this area. This fight has become more fascinating with the admission of Arvind Sen, a former IPS officer and the son of three-time Faizabad MP Mitrasen Yadav, as a CPI contender. Mitrasen had been elected to the CPI in 1989, the SP in 1998, and the BSP in 2004.
2019 Kaiserganj Winner: BJP (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) Principal Runners-Up: Narendra Pandey (BSP), Ram Bhagat Mishra (SP), and Karan Bhushan Singh (BJP)
This constituency, which was created by carving away five assembly seats from Bahraich and Gonda, garnered attention up to the very last day of the nomination process because of its ties to six-time MP and former wrestling federation president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who was accused of sexual harassment by a number of female athletes. Following many anxious days, BJP made the decision to bring his younger son Karan.

Prateek, the oldest son of Singh, is now a Gonda MLA. Singh has a lot of power since he won three times from Kaiserganj (2009, 2014, and 2019), Gonda (1991, 1999), and Balrampur (2004). Karan is a law graduate, a double trap shooter at the national level, and the head of the UP Wrestling Association. He opposes BSP candidate Narendra Pandey, who wants to take advantage of the number of Brahmin votes here, and SP candidate Ram Bhagat Mishra, a lawyer.

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