New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday named Acharya Pramod Krishnam as its candidate for Lucknow parliamentary constituency. He will face off against Home Minister Rajnath Singh of the BJP and Poonam Sinha who joined the Samajwadi Party earlier in the day.
Krishnam is likely to pay third fiddle to a battle that could mostly be fought between Rajnath and Poonam, wife of former BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha. Poonam had joined SP in the presence of Dimple Yadav, wife of party chief Akhilesh. She was almost immediately named as the SP candidate from Lucknow, prompting Rajnath to say he is looking forward to the electoral contest at hand. "Yes, somebody must contest. That is the beauty of democracy. We will fight elections with full dignity," he told news agency ANI.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Rajnath had defeated Rita Bahuguna Joshi - who was with Congress at the time - in this constituency by almost three lakh votes. Bahujan Samaj Party and SP had finished third and fourth, respectively.
While BSP is not contesting from Lucknow this year as per its seat-sharing pact with SP, Congress is mostly playing catch up in the state of UP.
On Tuesday, Congress also named Vinay Kumar Pandey as its candidate from Kaiserganj (UP) and Pankaj Sanghvi from Indore (MP).