NEW DELHI: Chandra Shekhar Devi Lal and former Rajiv Gandhi take on lesser known opponents in the coming parliamentary elections.

Shekhar faces 20 rivals in Ballia in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh the main rivals being Jagannath Chaudhury of the Congress (I) K R Vakil of the rightwing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rejendra of the Bahujan Samaj Party. The Janata Dal candidate Manager Singh withdrew at the last minute.

Rajiv Gandhi is pitted against 41 candidates in Amethi also in UP including Janata Dal’s Naeem and BJP’s Ravindra Pratap. There is no candidate from Shekhar’s Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP).

In Rohtak Haryana Devi Lal has 25 rivals including Inder Singh of the Haryana Vikas Party and Raj Kumar of the BJP Lal is also contesting the Ghirai assembly seat.

In Fatehpur former premier Vishwanath Pratap Singh locks horns with Harikrishna Shasta of the Congress (I) and Vijay Sachan of BJP and 31 others.

BJP leader L K Advani is contesting from both Gandhinagar and New Delhi. In Gandhinagar he faces 26 rivals including P G Mavlankar in independent and son of the first Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) speaker and G1 Patel of the Congress (I) and in New Delhi film star Rajesh Khanna of the Congress (I) and a host of other candidates.

BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpayee is testing his electoral fortunes from Vidisha and Lucknow where 30 candidates including Marthanda Singh of the Janata Dal and Ranjeet Singh of Congress (I) oppose him

Seven union ministers’ fate will be decided in Bihar and all of them have multi-cornered contests on hand.

They are: Hukumeo Narayan in Darbhanga (25 rivals) Yashwant Sinha in Patna (38) Subodh Kant Sahay in Ranchi (38) Lalit Vijay Singh in Begusarai (total number not known) Rambahadur Singh in Maharajgunj (14) Digvijay Singh in Banka (23) and Sasai Chaudhry in Hajipur (9).

Harmohan Dhawan federal civil aviation minister is seeking reelection from the lone Chandigarh seat on an SJP ticket and has 54 rivals

The Janata Dal leader Ramakrishna Hegde is contesting from Bagalkot while former chief minister of Karnataka Gundu Rao of the Congress (I) is fighting from Bangalore south.

Raj Mohan Gandhi who lost to Rajiv Gandhi in Amethi in the fast elections has shifted to Sabharkantha in Gujarat The grandson of Gandhi faces 19 candidates including BJP’’s Arvind Trivedi the actor who played the villian “Ravana” in the televised version of the epic “Ramayana”.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1991