Big fight: Rahul Gandhi, Nitin Gadkari, Kanhaiya Kumar among key candidateshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/big-fight-rahul-gandhi-nitin-gadkari-kanhaiya-kumar-among-key-candidates-5742133/

Big fight: Rahul Gandhi, Nitin Gadkari, Kanhaiya Kumar among key candidates

Spread across seven phases, the bitterly contested Lok Sabha election spanned from April 11 to May 19. As the results start pouring in, let's take a look at some of the prominent candidates.

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BJP president Amit Shah, contested his maiden Lok Sabha election, won by a margin of over 5 lakh votes over his nearest Congress rival C J Chavda in Gandhinagar. The BJP replaced Lal Krishna Advani with BJP president Amit Shah this year, marking the end of the veteran party leader's electoral career and signalling the emergence of the third generation of party leaders in the BJP.

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Amethi, which is the traditional stronghold of the Congress party, voted in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 6. BJP's Smriti Irani won by a margin of more than 35,000 votes.

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Held by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lucknow remains a crucial seat for BJP as the party has not lost any Lok Sabha election for last 28 years. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has retained the Lucknow seat by defeating his nearest rival Poonam Sinha by over 3.4 lakh votes.

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Gadkari won from Nagpur by a margin of around 2.13 lakh votes. He was up against Congress's Nana Patole. Nagpur is also home to the RSS headquarters and the Sangh Parivar. Despite this, Gadkari is the only second BJP leader to win a Lok Sabha poll from here.

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In probably one of the most controversial ticket distributions, the BJP in Bhopal fielded 2008 Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur against Congress' Digvijaya Singh, whom the saffron party accuses of "propagating the idea of Hindu terror." BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur defeated Congress stalwart Digvijay Singh by a huge margin of 3,64,822 votes in the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.

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In Begusarai, it was the clash of firebrands. In a three-cornered fight, BJP's Giriraj Singh had locked horns with RJD's Tanweer Hassan and political debutant Kanhaiya Kumar. Giriraj Singh, who was up against CPI(ML) candidate Kanhaiya Kumar defeated the former JNU students union president by a margin of 4,22,217 votes in Begusarai constituency.

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In Uttar Pradesh, Azam Khan won from Rampur constituency by over one lakh votes. He had attracted widespread ire for his sexist jibes against his one-time colleague and actor-politician Jaya Prada, his rival on the seat who joined the BJP before the election.

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DMK leader Kanimozhi, daughter of the late party patriarch M Karunadhi won the Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituency by defeating her BJP rival Tamilisai Soundararajan by more than three lakh votes.

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Gambhir, in cricketing parlance, hit a century on ‘debut’, winning his maiden Parliament elections by a massive margin. He sort of demolished his opponents, securing close to seven lakh votes, leaving close rivals — Congress’ Arvinder Singh Lovely and AAP’s Aatishi— way behind.