All eyes on Lucknow in fourth phase of UP pollsFebruary 18th, 2012 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Feb 18 (IANS) The fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections Sunday has a major focus on Lucknow where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tries to retain its sway in the second election it faces where party stalwart and former prime minister Atal Behari Vajayee is absent.
In the 2007 assembly elections, the charisma of Vajpayee, the sitting MP from the city, had swept the BJP to victory in all the four city constituencies while the four rural seats were split between the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP).
In the polling Sunday, as many as 1.72 crore voters will elect their representatives for 56 assembly constituencies spread across 11 districts - Lucknow, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar (Amethi), Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Banda, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh.
Besides Vajpayee, other political bigwigs whose prestige and influence are at stake in this phase are Congress president Sonia Gandhi (who represents Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency), party general secretary Rahul Gandhi (Amethi) and Samajwadi Party state president Akhilesh Yadav (Kannauj).
It will be an acid test for the ruling BSP which has the maximum at stake, since the party had bagged 25 of the 56 seats in 2007.
The Samajwadi Party also was not far behind with a tally of 14, while the BJP and the Congress had bagged seven seats each and two seats had gone to Independents.
The phase is also crucial for several key political leaders who are either in the fray themselves or have fielded their close kin.
Prominent among them is state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi (Lucknow Cantt), Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and eight-time legislator Pramod Tiwari (Rampur Khas in Pratapgarh) as well as controversial politician Raguraj Pratap Singh, better known as Raja Bhaiya, in the fray as Independent from Kunda.
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid is seeking re-election from their family home Farrukhabad, Congress MP Sanjay Singh’s wife Amita is contesting from Amethi, and SP Lok Sabha member Naresh Agrawal’s son Nitin Agrawal is trying his luck from the family bastion Hardoi.
Lucknow BJP MP Lalji Tandon’s son Gopal Tandon is the party candidate in Lucknow West, held for years by his father, who later succeeded Vajpayee as the local MP.
State BSP chief and Cooperative minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s son Utkrisht Maurya is fighting his maiden election from Unchahar in Rae Bareli district.
Slain dacoit Dadua’s son Vir Singh is in the fray as an SP nominee from Banda, while mafia don turned politician Akhilesh Singh, who has been winning the Rae Bareli city seat for several years, as an Independent, is now seeking re-election as a nominee of the Peace Party.
Yet another significant candidate in Sunday’s contest is woman activist Sampat Pal, widely known for her daredevil acts as head of a women’s army known as Gulabi Gang, from Karvi in the Chitrakoot tribal belt.
- Nominations for fourth phase begin in Uttar Pradesh - Jan 25, 2012
- 57 percent turnout estimated in UP poll's fourth phase (Evening Lead) - Feb 19, 2012
- Peaceful polling in UP, young Lucknow voters queue up (Third Lead) - Feb 19, 2012
- Voting picks up in UP after slow start (Second Lead) - Feb 19, 2012
- Brisk voting in fourth round of UP elections (Afternoon Lead) - Feb 19, 2012
- On day of love, warring leaders in battleground UP - Feb 14, 2012
- UP set for hung house, SP leads, BSP routed (Second Lead) - Mar 06, 2012
- UP set for hung house, SP on top, BSP out (Third Lead) - Mar 06, 2012
- Congress releases first list for Uttar Pradesh polls - Aug 22, 2011
- UP voters dethrone Mayawati, choose Mulayam over BJP, Congress (Roundup) - Mar 06, 2012
- 'Kidnapped' man challenges Dimple Yadav's election to Lok Sabha - Sep 12, 2012
- Elections 2012: UP poll battle begins Wednesday - Feb 06, 2012
- Gandhi charisma fading? Congress humbled in Rae Bareli, Amethi - Mar 06, 2012
- Sonia, Priyanka descend on Rae Bareli, slam Mayawati (Third Lead) - Feb 15, 2012
- Sonia, Priyanka descend on Rae Bareli, flay Mayawati (Second Lead) - Feb 14, 2012
Tags: akhilesh yadav, amethi, assembly constituencies, bahujan samaj party, bahujan samaj party bsp, bharatiya janata party, chitrakoot, congress legislature party, congress president sonia gandhi, constituency party, controversial politician, kannauj, parliamentary constituency, political bigwigs, pratap singh, pratapgarh, rae bareli, rahul gandhi, time legislator, union law minister