Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Shashi Tharoor vs Rajeev Chandrashekhar In Thiruvananthapuram Among Key Fights

With the Election Commission expected to announce the poll schedule for Lok Sabha elections 2024 soon, here is a look at some key battles so far

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BJP’s Rajeev Chandrashekhar Photo: - Getty Images

The upcoming Lok Sabha elections of 2024 will see key contests between political heavyweights like Congress’ Shashi Tharoor and BJP’s Rajeev Chandrashekhar in Thiruvananthapuram and Congress’ Rahul Gandhi and CPI’s Annie Raja in Wayanad. 

Both Congress and BJP have released their first lists with 39 and 195 candidates respectively. The grand-old party’s list majorly included candidates from south India, where it is largely in power compared to the Hindi heartland states. With the Election Commission expected to announce the poll schedule for Lok Sabha elections 2024 soon, here is a look at some key battles so far, post release of Congress’ first list on Friday:

Shashi Tharoor vs Rajeev Chandrashekhar in Thiruvananthapuram 

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will be contesting from the Thiruvananthapuram seat in Kerala for the fourth time in a row. The former Union minister has been winning this since 2009. In 2019, Shashi Tharoor won with over four lakh votes while BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan garnered around 3.16 lakh votes. On the other hand, this will be Rajeev Chandrasekhar's first Lok Sabha election, with the BJP looking to make inroads in Kerala.

Rahul Gandhi vs Annie Raja in Wayanad

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will contest the Lok Sabha polls from Kerala's Wayanad once again. This constituency has been a Congress bastion at least for the last three Lok Sabha elections. In 2019, Rahul Gandhi bagged a whopping 64.8 per cent of the total vote share. However, Rahul Gandhi being fielded from Wayanad triggered a row as INDIA alliance partner CPI announced Annie Raja to contest from Wayanad. Annie Raja, member of the CPI’s national executive and the wife of party general secretary D Raja, will be contesting her first ever election this time. The party has publicly, in many media interviews, asked Rahul Gandhi not to contest from Kerala where the main political opponent of the Congress is the Left Front comprising the two communist parties CPI and CPIM. They instead urged him to contest in states like Karnataka where the BJP is the main opponent.

Anil Antony vs Anto Antony in Pathanamthitta

Anil Antony, son of Congress Veteran AK Antony, will be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls as a BJP candidate from the Pathanamthitta constituency in Kerala. Anil triggered a row last year after he joined the BJP, reportedly against his father’s wish. Meanwhile, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal, announced that Anto Antony will be contesting for United Democratic Front (UDF) from Pathanamthitta constituency. Anto had been re-elected for a third consecutive term to the Lok Sabha from Pathanamthitta in 2019.

Bhupesh Baghel vs Santosh Pandey in Rajnandgaon

After nearly a decade, former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will be contesting Lok Sabha elections, this time from Rajnandgaon, considered to be a BJP stronghold. The senior Congress leader served as the third Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh from 2018 to 2023 but unsuccessfully contested parliamentary elections in 2004 and 2009. Meanwhile, the BJP has re-fielded Santosh Pandey, who has represented the constituency since 2014.

KC Venugopal vs Sobha Surendran in Alappuzha 

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal will be contesting from Alappuzha in Kerala despite him being a sitting Rajya Sabha MP. The three-time MLA and two-term MP had held the seat since 2009. This was the only seat Congress lost in 2019 in Kerala after KC Venugopal withdrew from the election and shifted to the Rajya Sabha in 2020. The Congress had then fielded Shanimol Usman who was defeated by CPM's AM Arif.  Meanwhile, the BJP fielded firebrand Sobha Surendran from this constituency