Rajnath Singh got what he wanted
After representing Ghaziabad constituency three times from where former Army chief General VK Singh is contesting elections for the first time, Singh shifted his battleground to the Uttar Pradesh's capital, Lucknow, "the city of Nawabs".
After holding brainstorming sessions with the incumbent MP and veteran party leader Lalji Tandon, Rajnath Singh successfully struck the Lucknow deal, "karmabhoomi" of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
On Wednesday, he even started campaigning from his newly-acquired constituency along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee's "four-decade-old" close aide Shiv Kumar and is on a three-day maiden visit in Lucknow, that goes to polls on April 30.
Besides inaugurating his election office in Hazratganj, he will also hold meetings with locals, doctors, lawyers and some Shia clerics.
But, the pertinent question that arises is- Will Rajnath Singh be able to carry forward the legacy of the former prime minister of India and party veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has represented the city in the Lok Sabha thrice?
Can Rajnath "turn the tide" in his favour in Vajpayee's "karmabhoomi" Lucknow?
The question arises because Rajnath Singh carries the baggage of non-performance in Ghaziabad.
Rajnath chants Vajpayee, Vajpayee in Lucknow
But Rajnath Singh is highly-banking upon Vajpayee's legacy and reportedly chanted his name "11 times" as his name evokes a lot of respect.
While addressing the media in Lucknow, Rajnath presented himself as an "inheritor" of Vajpayee's legacy and said that he promises to fulfill Vajpayee's dreams of developing it as bio-tech city and make the Gomti river pollution-free, if he comes to power.
Rajnath's wife Savitri Singh and his son Pankaj Singh are already campaigning for him in the city since last week.
From Vajpayee's huge victory margins, Lalji Tandon scraped through by just 38,000 votes. Now, it is yet to be seen whether Rajnath would be able to "turn the tide" in his favour or not.
Meet Rajnath's rival contestants
In Lucknow, Rajnath Singh will face Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Samajwadi Party's (SP) Abhishek Mishra, Bahujan Samaj Party's(BSP) Nakul Dubey while AAP, that could take away a chunk of urban votes, is yet to bare its cards.
However, AAP insiders say that Adarsh Shastri, grandson of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, is likely to be fielded from Lucknow.
Lucknow has some 450,000 Muslims, 350,000 Brahmins, 150,000 Vaishyas, 125,000 Kayasths, 100,000 each Yadavs and Dalits, 60,000 Thakurs and a sizeable presence of people from Uttarakhand (175,000 votes).
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