Lok Sabha elections: Smriti Irani, Pragya Thakur to win big; 28 sitting women MPs set to retain seats
Smriti Irani emerged as a giant-killer -- this time scripting a historic win by dethroning Rahul Gandhi in the Congress's home turf Amethi.
As many as 28 out of 41 sitting women MPs, including Sonia Gandhi, Hema Malini and Kirron Kher, are set to retain their seats in Lok Sabha polls, but the likes of Smriti Irani and Pragya Thakur are likely to steal the show with the extent of their victories over their more renowned rivals. Among prominent faces who are expected to be re-elected to Lok Sabha are Rae Bareli Congress MP Sonia Gandhi, Sultanpur candidate Maneka Gandhi who is a sitting BJP MP from Pilibhit, Mathura BJP MP Malini, Chandigarh BJP candidate Kher, Kannauj SP MP Dimple Yadav and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
Bankura TMC MP Moon Moon Sen who contested from Asansol, Congress Silchar MP Sushmita Dev, Supaul MP from Congress Ranjeet Ranjan, Bardhaman-Durgapur candidate Mamtaz Sanghamita from TMC, Hoogly MP Ratna De from TMC and Lalganj MP Neelam Sonkar are among those trailing.
Irani emerged as a giant-killer -- this time scripting a historic win by dethroning Rahul Gandhi in the Congress's home turf Amethi. Controversial BJP candidate from Bhopal and terror-accused Thakur is leading against Congress' bigwig Digvijay Singh.
Other prominent names who are set to enter Parliament are DMK candidate from Thoothukkudi Kanimozhi Karunanidhi and BJP's Rita Bahuguna, who is leading from Uttar Pradesh's Allahabad constituency.
Locket Chatterjee, Bengali actress-turned-politician from the Trinamool Congress, is also leading in the Hoogly constituency.
Sixteen women MPs re-contesting from their seat and leading are from the BJP, while Sonia Gandhi is the only sitting MP from the Congress who is leading.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party towards what is certain to be a spectacular victory for a second term in office, as his message of nationalism, security, Hindu pride and a New India was wholeheartedly embraced by voters across large swathes of the country.
With the elections establishing 68-year-old Modi as the most popular leader in decades, the partial vote count released by the Election Commission showed that the BJP will surpass its 2014 performance.
The Congress had fielded 54 women candidates. It was closely followed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had fielded 53 women.
Among the other national parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fielded 24 women candidates, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) 23, the CPI(M) 10, the CPI four, while the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) fielded one woman candidate.
As many as 222 women contested the polls independently. A total of 8,049 candidates were in the fray in the parliamentary polls.
Four transgender candidates contested the elections independently, while the AAP was the only party to field a transgender nominee. But all transgender candidates lost in the polls.
The highest number of candidates were fielded from Uttar Pradesh at 104, followed by Maharashtra. Sixty-four women candidates have been fielded from Tamil Nadu, 55 from Bihar and 54 from West Bengal.
A total of 724 women candidates were in the fray for the Lok Sabha election.