Shatrughan Sinha's wife Poonam joins SP, will contest from Lucknow
On Tuesday, Poonam Sinha, the wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, joined Samajwadi Party in the presence of Dimple Yadav. She has been fielded from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, and will file her nomination on April 18. Earlier in the day, Union Minister Rajnath Singh filed his nomination from the state capital, from where he is seeking re-election. Singh also held a roadshow. Here's more.
आज लखनऊ में सांसद श्रीमती डिम्पल यादव जी की उपस्थिति में श्रीमती पूनम सिन्हा जी ने समाजवादी पार्टी की सदस्यता ग्रहण की। pic.twitter.com/AdjeuaYBc3— Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) April 16, 2019
It should be noted that in SP-BSP-RLD arithmetic, Lucknow seat fell into SP's lap. While the deadline of filing nomination neared, SP kept mum on the candidate. When party president Akhilesh Yadav was asked about it, he said he was willing to take a risk from the seat. Akhilesh had said he wanted to look beyond caste equations in Lucknow.
Earlier this month, Shatrughan formally joined Congress and was given a ticket from Patna Sahib in Bihar. Shatrughan, who had been associated with BJP since the 90s, said a lot changed in the party after Prime Minister Narendra Modi won election. He claimed BJP became a one-man show where voices of dissent weren't appreciated. He thanked Congress for welcoming him.
According to reports, Congress has decided to not field candidates from seven Lok Sabha seats of UP and Lucknow is one of them. Apparently, Jitin Prasada was keen to contest from Lucknow but he was persuaded to fight from Dhaurhara. If the reports turn out to be true, then Singh and Poonam will be locked in a direct battle. Lucknow votes on May 6.
Lucknow has never voted for any party except BJP since 1991. The seat was held by late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998, 1999 and 2004. In 2014, Singh defeated Congress' Rita Bahuguna Joshi from Lucknow. He got 5,60,000 votes while she received 2,80,000. Rejecting equations of the ally partners, BJP general secretary Vijay Pathak said BJP would win again.
"Lucknow has always been a BJP bastion and continues to be one. Rajnath Singh has ensured a lot of development in the state capital and has a rapport with people. An imported candidate will not cut much ice with voters," Pathak said a few days ago.