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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

BJP banking on its sitting MPs as it targets to win all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh

Prime Minister Modi will be seeking re-election from Varanasi for the third time, winning the earlier two elections in 2014 and 2019 from the same seat

PTI Lucknow Published 03.03.24, 01:37 PM
From left: Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and Narendra Modi

From left: Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and Narendra Modi File photo

After the declaration of candidates on 51 seats by the ruling BJP for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the political picture of the contest in Uttar Pradesh is becoming clear.

INDIA bloc partner Samajwadi Party (SP) has so far declared tickets on 31 seats, including Varanasi, which it later withdrew due to the seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress.

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Amidst party workers' demand of fielding Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from Amethi and Raebareli seats, the Congress is yet to come up with its list.

As per the arrangement, the Congress will field candidates on 17 seats while the SP will contest on 63 seats.

Apart from Raebareli, Amethi and Varanasi, the other seats on which the Congress will contest include Kanpur City, Fatehpur Sekri, Basgaon, Saharanpur, Prayagraj, Maharajganj, Amroha, Jhansi, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Mathura, Sitapur, Barabanki and Deoria.

Sonia Gandhi is currently the MP from Raebareli, while Rahul Gandhi lost his Amethi seat to BJP leader Smriti Irani in 2019 polls.

Aiming to retain power at the Centre for the third time in a row, the BJP banked heavily on its sitting MPs and the party is working on a target to win all the 80 seats in the state.

The notable names in the BJP's first list include Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, Hema Malini from Mathura, Ajay Mishra Teni from Kheri, Smriti Irani from Amethi, Lallu Singh from Faizabad (Ayodhya) and Mahendra Nath Pandey from Chandauli among others.

The new faces in the BJP list included Saket Mishra from Shrawasti and Kripa Shankar Singh from Jaunpur. Sitting MP from Ambedkar Nagar Ritesh Pandey, who recently resigned from the BSP and joined the BJP, has also been given a ticket.

Saket Mishra, who is a sitting MLC, is the son of Nripendra Mishra, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Construction Committee's chairman and former principal secretary to Prime Minister Modi.

Kripa Shankar had quit the Congress to join the BJP. The candidates for Pilibhit and Sultanpur, which are held by Varun Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi respectively, are yet to be announced.

Prime Minister Modi will be seeking re-election from Varanasi for the third time, winning the earlier two elections in 2014 and 2019 from the same seat with a handsome margin of more than 3.71 lakh and 4.79 lakh votes, respectively.

Rajnath Singh will also be seeking re-election from Lucknow for the third time after winning it in two previous elections in 2014 and 2019 comfortably by a margin of 2.72 lakh and 3.47 votes, respectively.

The BJP has again reposed faith in Ajay Mishra Teni from Kheri. Mishra had been in the thick of storm in connection with October 3, 2021, violence in which his son Ashish Mishra allegedly ran his car over the farmers protesting in Lakhimpur Kheri. Mishra won the Lok Sabha elections from the Kheri constituency in 2014 and 2019.

The BJP has also reposed faith in Smriti Irani for the Amethi seat, regarded as a Gandhi stronghold. Irani had rendered a major blow to the Congress, defeating its then sitting MP Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 elections by a margin of more than 55,000 votes.

From Raebareli, though the BJP has not declared any name yet but speculations are rife that it may field SP MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey, who recently resigned as the party's chief whip in the state assembly and cross voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls.

The SP has so far released three lists of its candidates and has fielded Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri while Shivpal Yadav has been given a ticket from the Budaun seat.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who is an MLA from the Karhal seat, might also contest from Kannauj or Azamgarh. The party has given a chance to Ikra Hasan, daughter of former MP Tabassum Hasan, from the Kairana seat while Praveen Singh Aron has been given a ticket from the Bareilly seat and Afzal Ansari from the Ghazipur seat.

The SP's first list also included the name of sitting Sambhal MP Shafiqur Rehman Barq, who died recently.

The BSP has so far officially not declared its list of candidates.

In 2019 polls, SP and BSP contested in an alliance in which they won five and 10 seats, respectively. The BJP and allies got 65 seats.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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