Counting of votes for 542 Lok Sabha constituencies began Thursday morning. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aam Aadmi Party and Congress fielded several first-time candidates in the elections. While who will form the government will be only clear later in the day, here are 10 famous faces that will draw attention throughout the polling day. 1) Atishi Marlena
Atishi Atishi Marlena is the Aam Aadmi Party candidate from the East Delhi constituency. She is credited with making big changes in Delhi’s government schools. Atishi has been in the eye of controversies over the past one year. She faces the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gautam Gambhir in what is being billed as a key battle in the national capital. 2) Pragya Thakur Sadhvi Pragya Pragya Thakur, also known as Sadhvi Pragya, is the BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency. She was earlier an accused in the Malegaon blasts. After being acquitted recently, she was given a ticket by the BJP. During the campaign trail, Thakur made a slew of controversial comments — the most infamous of which were her remarks on 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare and Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse. 3) Gautam Gambhir Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir is the BJP candidate from the East Delhi constituency. His slant towards the ruling party was visible over the last few years. Recently, he was involved in a controversy after AAP candidate Atishi accused him of soiling her name through his henchmen. 4) Kanhaiya Kumar The former Jawaharlal Nehru University candidate is contesting from the Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency against BJP heavyweight Giriraj Singh. Kanhaiya was allegedly involved in the infamous February 2016 protests in JNU premises. Several big names from Bollywood and political activists like Hardik Patel campaigned in his support. 5) Sunny Deol Sunny Deol is the BJP candidate from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency in Punjab. Deol was a Bollywood heartthrob in the 80s and the 90s. He is the elder son of Dharmendra. The Bollywood actor is up against incumbent Member of Parliament Sunil Jakhar. 6) Nusrat Jahan Nusrat Jahan is one of the most familiar faces of Tollywood — the Bengali film industry. She is the Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate for the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency. 7) Mimi Chakraborty Mimi Chakraborty is a Bengali film industry actress. She is the All India Trinamool Congress candidate for general elections from Jadavpur Loksabha Constituency. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidatefor the constituency is Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, while the Bharatiya Janata Party ticket was given to Anupam Hazra. 8) Krishna Poonia Krishna Poonia is a former Olympic athlete. The discus thrower has been a Member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly but this is her first Lok Sabha election. Poonia is fighting Cabinet Minister Rajyavardhan SIngh Rathore for the Jaipur Rural Lok Sabha seat. She is a Padma Shri awardee. 9) Dinesh Lal Yadav (Nirahua) Dinesh Lal Yadav, popularly known as Nirahua, is a Bhojpuri actor, singer and film producer. He is contesting against former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat on a Bhartiya Janata Party ticket. 10) Urmila Matondkar Urmila Matondkar is a Bollywood star of the 1990s. She recently joined the Congress and is the party’s candidate for the Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency. Veteran BJP leader Gopal Shetty is contesting against her in the seat.
Source: Business Standard