Phase 2 Lok Sabha polls: Key candidates

Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha elections will be held on April 26, 2024, covering 89 constituencies across 12 states and 1 UT. Here are some key candidates to watch out for.

Rahul Gandhi (Wayanad)

Annie Raja, general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women (CPI(M)), and K. Surendran, the BJP Kerala president, are contesting against Rahul Gandhi, who is seeking a second term from Wayanad. In 2019, he won with a wide margin of over 7 lakh votes from Wayanad.

Hema Malini (Mathura)

The BJP has once again fielded 'Dream Girl' Hema Malini from Mathura. She is pitted against Congress's Mukesh Dhangar, the Uttar Pradesh PCC chief, and BSP's Suresh Singh, a former IRS official who has served in the ED and the CBI.

H.D. Kumaraswamy (Mandya)

Former Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, whose party JD(S) is in alliance with the BJP, is contesting from Mandya. He is up against Congress candidate and businessman Venkataramane Gowda.

Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram)

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who has held the seat since 2009, is seeking a fourth term. A triangular battle is expected in the constituency with Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar (BJP) and CPI veteran leader Panniyan Raveendran joining the fray.

Bhupesh Bhagel (Rajnandgaon)

Bhupesh Bhagel, former Chhattisgarh CM, is the Congress candidate in Rajnandgaon constituency, which has been a BJP fortress for three decades. With BJP's Santhosh Pandey as his rival candidate, the contest will be quite close.