Cong not fielding candidate from Lucknow? Direct fight likely between Rajnath Singh and Poonam Sinha
Lucknow, Apr 16: In a bid to prevent the division of votes and give a stiff competition to Union Minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow, the Congress may not field a candidate from Uttar Pradesh's capital and back Poonam Sinha, who is likely to be fielded from Lucknow as a joint Samajwadi Party (SP)-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate. Poonam Sinha today officially joined the SP in presence of Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav.
Shatrughan Sinha, who recently quit the BJP after nearly two-decades of association and joined the Congress, had met with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to discuss the candidature of his wife, Poonam Sinha, said reports.
Lucknow is considered as a BJP bastion and it is from this seat that stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee used to contest. For 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has fielded Union Home Minister and veteran leader Rajnath Singh.
The opposition would like to take the advantage of demographics of Lucknow which has around four lakh Kayastha voters, 1.3 lakh Sindhi voters and 3.5 lakh Muslim voters. Shatrughan Sinha is popular among Kayasthas while Poonam, being a Sindhi, can count on Sindhi votes. So she would be eyeing at both Sindhi and Kayastha votes.
A News 18 report, while quoting sources, said the Congress is likely to extend support to Sinha's candidature, with the aim to dent BJP's votes.
Rajnath Singh won the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from western UP's Ghaziabad but shifted to Lucknow for the 2014 polls. The former BJP president filed his nomination today. Rajnath Singh had won the Lucknow seat in 2014 garnering 55.7 per cent of the total 10,06,483 votes polled. He had won in all the five assembly segments of the constituency.
Shatrughan Sinha himself would be taking on Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Patna Sahib in Bihar. Sinha, being a Kayasth, has strong support of the community. The opposition's plan is to galvanise Kayastha, Sindhi and Muslim votes against the BJP, which if works out as planned, would be a formidable force to challenge Rajnath.