INDIA ELECTIONS – From Smriti Irani to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury: Biggest upsets in 2024 Lok Sabha elections

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JUNE 4, 2024

NEW DELHI: The 2024 Lok Sabha elections have been marked by several surprising upsets, with some prominent political figures facing unexpected defeats in their strongholds. Among the biggest upsets, Union minister Smriti Irani appears to be on the verge of losing the Amethi seat to Congress candidate Kishori Lal Sharma, despite her previous victory against Rahul Gandhi in 2019. Similarly, BJP candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar conceded defeat to Congress’ Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram, while acknowledging the growing support for the BJP in Kerala.

Smriti Irani faces shocking defeat in Amethi

Union minister Smriti Irani appears to be on the verge of losing the Amethi seat, where she is currently trailing behind Congress candidate Kishori Lal Sharma by a margin of over 1.45 lakh votes. The unexpected results have caught the minister and her campaign team off guard, as they had previously dismissed Sharma as a “small fry” in the electoral battle.

Amethi, one of the most closely watched constituencies among the Lok Sabha seats, was predicted by exit polls to witness a fierce contest between BJP’s Irani and the Congress party’s loyal candidate, KL Sharma.

Back in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Irani had emerged victorious against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, which had been a stronghold of the Congress party for many years. However, in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi chose to contest from two seats – Wayanad in Kerala and Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, the latter being represented by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi since 2004.

Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar concedes defeat to Shashi Tharoor

BJP candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday conceded defeat to Congress’ Shashi Tharoor in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, but said that the election result in Kerala indicates that people are increasingly supporting the saffron party.

Chandrasekhar, who is the Union minister of State for Information Technology in the outgoing cabinet, said that it was “disappointing” that he lost, even though the BJP fought a very strong battle in the state.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor expressed his commitment to fulfilling the trust placed in him by the voters and pledged to work diligently for the betterment of the constituency. This marks the fourth consecutive election in which the people of Thiruvananthapuram have chosen Tharoor as their representative. “It was a very tight fight till the very end. I must congratulate both Rajeev Chandrashekar and Pannian Ravindran on having fought such a good battle and having improved their parties’ performance so strongly here. I am glad that in the end, the voters of Thiruvananthapuram once again decided to repose their faith in me which they have done in three previous elections and I will obviously look forward to fulfilling their trust and working very hard for this constituency,” Congress leader and party candidate from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat Shashi Tharoor said after the lead.

Omar Abdullah loses hold on Baramulla

Omar Abdullah, the vice-president of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and the Lok Sabha candidate from Baramulla, has acknowledged his defeat and congratulated Independent candidate, Abdul Rashid Sheikh for leading in the North Kashmir constituency. In a message posted on his X account, Abdullah accepted the outcome, stating that the electorate has expressed their choice, which is the essence of democracy.

“I think it’s time to accept the inevitable. Congratulations to Engineer Rashid for his victory in North Kashmir. I don’t believe his victory will hasten his release from prison nor will the people of North Kashmir get the representation they have a right to but the voters have spoken and in a democracy, that’s all that matters,” Abdullah said in his X post.

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Omar Abdullah is currently lagging behind the independent candidate Abdul Rashid Sheikh by a substantial margin of 134,705 votes in the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency.

Raj Babbar loses from Gurgaon

Rao Inderjit Singh, the BJP’s nominee in Gurgaon, has taken a lead of 51,280 votes over his competitor Raj Babbar, as per the data provided by the Election Commission of India. Singh secured 6,38,474 votes, whereas Babbar, his rival, received 5,87,194 votes.

Rao Inderjit Singh, the current five-time Member of Parliament, is contesting from the Gurgaon constituency for the sixth consecutive time.

Adhir Chowdhury stumped by Pathan in Baharampur

The West Bengal Congress was left in shock as Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the party’s key figure in the state, faced defeat in stronghold of Baharampur. According to ECI data, as counting neared its conclusion, Chowdhury lost by nearly 74,000 votes to Trinamool Congress’s prominent candidate, former cricketer Yusuf Pathan.

Baharampur parliamentary seat has been one of the last remaining Congress bastions in the state, it would mark the first time that the Trinamool Congress has established its presence in the area.

Chowdhury, who has been an MP from Baharampur since 1999 and currently serves as the Pradesh Congress president of West Bengal, faced perhaps his most formidable electoral challenge in the form of Pathan, the TMC candidate who does not reside in the constituency.

During his first three terms as an MP, Chowdhury successfully defeated RSP’s Pramothes Mukherjee three times in a row during the former Left Front era in West Bengal. In the Mamata Banerjee era, the Congress leader had also overcome challenges from his main TMC opponents in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.


Courtesy: Times of India / PTI