UP polls: Lucknow's nine seats to witness high-decibel contest

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 18 (ANI): As Sunday's poll day crept closer, political outfits are leaving no stone unturned in siphoning a win on the nine crucial assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh's capital. Where on the one hand it is a matter of prestige for the ruling Samajwadi party to retain the seven of nine seats it won in the 2012 elections, on the other hand the contest will be a litmus test for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as both the outfits ought to prove their mettle in the politically crucial Lucknow city which goes for polls tomorrow. Battle from the Lucknow Cantonment assembly constituency is set to be interesting as two heavyweights, one of them new to politics and the other a veteran are set to lock horns. Riding the Samajwadi cycle, Yadav family's younger daughter -in-law Aparna Yadav will try to wrest the seat from sitting MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Meanwhile, the BSP has pitted Yogesh Dixit as its candidate against the two female contestants. Lucknow Cantonment was the stronghold of the Congress till 1991 after which it remained with the Bharatiya Janata Party till 2012. In the last assembly election, Joshi won the seat for the Congress by defeating BJP's Suresh Chandra Tewari by a margin of over 21,000 votes. An out of the ordinary contest will be witnessed in Lucknow Central contest, as sitting SP MLA and cabinet minister Ravidas Mehrotra is facing an uphill task with Congress candidate Maroof Khan who has refused to forfeit from the field despite alliance between the two parties. BJP has awarded its ticket to former MP and an ex-Lucknow University students' union president and BSP turn coat Brijesh Pathak. Rajiv Srivastava will fight from BSP's behalf. In the Lucknow North constituency the Samajwadis fielded Abhishek Mishra, to take on BJP's Neeraj Bora. National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader Ajay Srivastava will be contesting from a BSP ticket. The BJP who has never won from the Sarojini Nagar seat has awarded ticket to wing chief Swati Singh. The Samajwadi Party will be represented by Anurag Yadav, cousin of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who will get a tough fight from its ex-leader Sharda Prasad Shukla, contesting on a RLD ticket. BSP has fielded Shiv Shankar Singh alias Shankari, while BJP rebel Rudra Daman Singh alias Babloo is also in the fray on Shiv Sena ticket. In Mohanlalganj, the BJP has allowed independent candidate and a former BSP leader R.K. Chowdhury to contest. The Samajwadi party has allotted ticket to Ambrish Pushkar. In an interesting twist, sitting SP MLA Chandra Rawat, who was denied ticket will contest on a Rashtriya Shahri Vikas Party ticket, while the BSP's face in the constituency will be IAS Ram Bahadur. Lucknow East seat will see BJP leader Lalji Tondon's son Ashutosh Tondon in the fray who will be challenged by Congress candidate Anurag Bhadauri and BSP's Saroj Shukla. In Lucknow West comprising old city areas, sitting SP MLA Mohd Rehan seems to be in a direct fight with BJP's Suresh Srivastava, a former MLA. In Malihabad, BJP MP Kaushal Kishore's wife Jai Devi is contesting against SP's Jai Devi as sitting MLA Indal Kumar was not given ticket. In Bakshi Ka Talab constituency, BJP's Avinash Trivedi and former minister during BSP government Nakul Dubey and SP's sitting MLA Gomti Yadav will fight the three corner fight. The third phase of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh will be held for 69 seats across 12 districts tomorrow, where in Lucknow around 35 lakh people eligible voters will cast votes. (ANI)