The 14 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh that will go to polls on May 6 in the fifth phase will put the spotlight on the top Congress and BJP leadership…reports Asian Lite News
The seats that will be going to polls in this phase include Lucknow, Amethi, Rae Bareli, Faizabad (Ayodhya), Gonda, Sitapur, Kaiserganj , Bahraich, Barabanki, Dhaurhara, Mohanlalganj, Banda, Fatehpur and Kaushambhi.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is seeking his second term in Lok Sabha from Lucknow and his main rival is Poonam Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha. The Congress candidate Acharya Pramod Krishnam is not too far behind in this triangular, in which Rajnath Singh does enjoy a definite edge.
In Rae Bareli, former Congress President Sonia Gandhi is seeking a fifth term in the Lok Sabha. She has virtually no competition in the election since the SP-BSP alliance has not put up a candidate and the BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh is considered a light-weight candidate. Even though Gandhi has not been able to campaign due to her health issues, the scales still tilt in her favour.
In Amethi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi is being challenged by Union Minister Smriti Irani who had lost to Congress by over a lakh votes in 2014. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is campaigning vigorously for her brother in Amethi and her mother in Rae Bareli.
Senior Congress MP P.L. Punia’s son Tanuj Punia is making his political debut from Barabanki, a reserved seat. The BJP has denied ticket to its sitting MP Priyanka Rawat and has named Upendra Rawat as the candidate. The alliance candidate is Ram Sagar Rawat.
In Ayodhya, the fight is between BJP’s Lallu Singh, Anand Sen Yadav of the alliance and Nirmal Khatri of the Congress.
In Bahraich, former BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule is now the Congress candidate. She is facing competition from BJP’s Akshaywar Lal Gond. The SP-BSP alliance has put up Shabbir Ahmad Valmiki and Dalit voters are crucial in this triangular contest.
In Kaushambhi (reserved), it is the Jansatta Dal floated by Independent MLA Raja Bhaiyya, that is grabbing headlines with its candidate Shailendra Kumar. The SP-BSP alliance has fielded former BSP minister Inderjit Saroj and the BJP candidate is Vinod Sonkar.
Mohanlalganj, another reserved seat adjacent to Lucknow, a tough contest is being witnessed between sitting BJP MP Kaushal Kishore, R.K. Chaudhary of Congress and C.L. Varma of SP-BSP alliance.
In Dhaurhara, the fight is between Congress and SP-BSP alliance. Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada is the Congress candidate while the alliance candidate is Arshad Siddiqui.
For these 14 seats, there are 181 candidates in the fray of whom 24 per cent have criminal antecedents.