Is SP in a mood to give walkover to BJP on Lucknow parliamentary seat?

Will Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP and counted among the top three leaders in the Modi government, be BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Lucknow this time too? This question has arisen because his candidature has not been announced yet by BJP. It is also being said that if he contests the elections (it is discussed that Rajnath is in no mood to contest the elections) then perhaps there will be no major hurdle in the way of his or any other BJP candidate’s victory because there is an Indian alliance here. Cracks are visible. On one hand, meetings are being held between SP and Congress regarding seat distribution, while on the other hand, SP has declared Lucknow Central Assembly constituency MLA Ravidas Mehrotra as its Lok Sabha candidate from Lucknow. Ravidas had won the assembly elections held in 2022 by only six and a half thousand votes, hence Ravidas is being considered a very weak candidate in front of Rajnath. In the last several Lok Sabha elections, SP has been fielding more powerful and popular candidates against BJP, in comparison to which Ravidas seems to be a very weak candidate.

It is noteworthy that all the political parties are busy in their preparations for the Lok Sabha elections 2024. In this sequence, Samajwadi Party has slowly started opening its cards. If there is an alliance and the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat does not go to the Congress but goes to the Samajwadi Party, then there will still be a triangular contest in Lucknow. Apart from BJP and SP, BSP will also probably present its strong claim from here.

If we talk about SP MLA Ravidas Mehrotra, Ravidas came into politics after leaving the student union. Ravidas was elected MLA for the first time in 1989. In the 2012 assembly elections, SP leader Ravidas Mehrotra had won from Lucknow Central seat. After this he was made a cabinet minister in the government of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Although Ravidas Mehrotra did not win in 2017, but in the 2022 assembly elections, he again hoisted the Samajwadi Party flag on the Lucknow Central seat. Regarding making Ravidas the candidate from Lucknow, SP spokesperson Fakhrul Hasan Chand said that an official announcement is yet to be made but if sources are to be believed, Ravidas Mehrotra’s name is almost certain for Lucknow. Talking about Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, this seat is considered the stronghold of BJP. BJP has held the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat since 1991. Till 2004, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had represented this seat. After this, Lalji Tandon became MP in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

This seat, which remained invincible for BJP, blossomed again in 2014. Rajnath Singh became MP from BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. From 1996 to 2019, the Samajwadi Party contested elections from cine star Raj Babbar, film producer Muzaffar Ali to film star Shatrughan Sinha’s wife. Apart from this, bets were also placed on local faces like Bhagwati Singh, Madhu Gupta and Abhishek Mishra but the results did not change. The party is now preparing to raise hopes from Lucknow in 2024 with the help of local faces. It remains to be seen how serious BSP is about Lucknow Lok Sabha seat and whether Congress will agree not to field its candidate from Lucknow. Overall, BJP seems to be getting a walkover on Lucknow parliamentary seat.

-Ajay Kumar

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