Lok Sabha elections 2019: Akhilesh Yadav says will take ‘big’ risk on Lucknow seat that BJP has not lost since 1991

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said he would take a big risk on the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.

“I will take a big risk. I will field the party’s Lucknow candidate on the issue of development of Lucknow and not on the rival’s politics of ‘jaat-paat-dharm’ (caste, creed, religion),” Akhilesh said.

The BJP has already announced sitting MP and union home minister Rajnath Singh as its Lok Sabha candidate from Lucknow.

According to political observers, Akhilesh’s statement indicates that the SP might field a strong candidate in Lucknow instead of giving the home minister a walkover.

“No government has worked for the development of Lucknow the way my government did. Be it Metro, international cricket stadium, Lucknow Agra Expressway, Janeshwar Mishra Park, dairies, IT city, and even the Lok Bhawan (chief minister’s secretariat), we worked for the development of the city,” he said.

“Let’s see what the educated voters vote for. We will take a risk. We will make it development vs caste-creed-religion,” Akhilesh said.

The Lucknow seat is considered impregnable for all the non-BJP parties or candidates. The BJP has not lost the seat since 1991. From 1991 to 2004 Lok Sabha polls, the seat was held by Atal Behari Vajpayee followed by Lalji Tandon in 2009 and then Rajnath Singh in 2014.

This will also be the first Lok Sabha polls since the demise of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the BJP would invoke him.

In the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the SP had finished fourth. In 2009, SP’s Nafisa Ali stood fourth with only 11% vote share, while in 2014, the then SP government’s minister Abhishek Mishra too came fourth and got 5.5% votes.

First Published:
Mar 26, 2019 19:41 IST

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