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Andaman & Nicobar Islands: Independent might spoil BJP, Congress game in 2019 Lok Sabha polls

In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 15 candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha election 2019. The main parties contesting Andaman and Nicobar Islands’s sole Lok Sabha seat include the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Andaman and Nicobar Islands is going to the poll in Phase 1 of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election. 406 polling centres have been set up for polling.

This year, the main fight in the Andaman and NIcobar Islands Lok Sabha constituency is between Vishal Jolly of the BJP and Kuldeep Rai Sharma of the Congress.

Other than Kuldeep Rai Sharma and Vishal Jolly, Sanjay Meshak will be contesting on an Aam Aadmy Party (AAP) ticket and Ayan Mandal, grandson of former Andaman and Nicobar Islands MP Manoranjan Bhakta will represent the TMC.

Former chairperson of South Andaman Zilla Parishad, Minoty Biswas is contesting as an Independent candidate and might prove to be a game changer.

Traditionally, the Bengali population in Andaman and Nicobar Islands has played a major role in choosing the constituency’s MP. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, no major political party has fielded a Bengali candidate, which could lead to Minoty Biswas taking away a good amount of votes from the BJP and Congres.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party won from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands constituency, with a 47.8 per cent vote share. The Congress was far behind, with a vote share of around 40 per cent.

During the 2014 polls, BJP’s Bishnu Pada ray secured 90,969 votes, defeating Congress’s Kuldeep Rai Sharma with a margin of 7,812.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress had also contested the 2014 elections and had come in third and fourth, respectively.

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