Politics News

UP Elections: Former Cop to Take on Professor in Lucknow’s Sarojini Nagar As BJP, SP Get Face-to-face

Sarojini Nagar, one of the most talked about assembly seats of Lucknow, is gearing up to witness an interesting battle as political parties field candidates keeping in mind various aspects from caste calculus to clean image. The Bhartiya Janata Party has fielded former Joint Director of ED, retired officer Rajeshwar Singh against Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Abhishek Mishra better known as ‘Professor Saab’.

The Sarojini Nagar assembly seat was won by BJP’s Swati Singh in the 2017 UP Assembly Elections by defeating SP’s Anurag Yadav. The seat went to the BJP for the first time in 2017; previously it was won by SP’s Sharda Pratap Shukla.

In 2007 and 2002 BSP’s Irshad Khan had won from this seat. Swati Singh had won on a BJP ticket in 2017 and went on to become a Minister in Yogi Adityanath government.

This time however, Swati’s name was dropped and Rajeshwar was fielded instead.

Earlier there were speculations that Swati Singh or her husband Dayashankar Singh, who is also the BJP State Vice President may be fielded from this seat. However, the BJP ultimately fielded Rajeshwar Singh on this hot seat of Lucknow.

The Congress has fielded Rudra Daman Singh from this seat who is a local and is said to have good hold on Thakur community voters. This may pose a challenge for both BJP and SP in the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded Mohd Jalessh Khan who is expected to attract Muslim voters from Sarojini Nagar constituency.

Brahmin voters play a crucial role in this assembly constituency. This might be the reason that Samajwadi Party has fielded its former minister and party’s prominent Brahmin face Abhishek Mishra from this seat.

Mishra has been former MLA from Lucknow North but this time as per Samajwadi Party’s strategy and in an attempt to woo Brahmin voters, SP has fielded Abhishek Mishra from Sarojini Nagar assembly seat. Apart from this the Samajwadi Party would be looking to woo Yadavs and Muslims in order to make it to the finishing line.

Although Rajeshwar Singh was not immediately available for comments due to his busy campaigning schedule, few days back while speaking to News18, the Sarojini Nagar candidate had said, “I am grateful to the party that they selected me for contesting from this seat. We are going to win the elections and we are fully prepared for it. The BJP is the only party which delivers what it promises. They promised Ram Mandir and today Ram Mandir is being built, they promised revocation of Article 370 they did it, they promised abolishing Triple Talaq that was also done. The leadership of BJP is the best leadership in the country and respected Modi ji is the most popular leader in the world.

“The Samajwadi Party is nowhere in the fight, they field only Mafias and criminals. They had a free run when their government was in power. Today people like Mukhtar Ansari and Azam Khan are in jail, the SP brought criminals into politics. We have to root them out and ensure that they don’t get any votes in UP,” Singh had said.

He further said that his intention was to make his constituency the best in India. “I have to do a lot for the youth, I want to see every youth happy. I want to provide opportunities to the youth so that they can excel in their life. There is no competition from Samajwadi Party, they are nowhere in the race. I want to wish good luck to Abhishek Mishra, he is a good man. But the Samajwadi Party has the ideology of supporting mafias, criminals and communalism. It is nowhere going to be in the picture in elections,” Rajeshwar Singh had said.

On the other hand Samajwadi Party candidate and former Minister in SP regime, Abhishek Mishra while speaking to news18 asserted confidence in winning the seat and in a way termed Rajeshwar Singh as an ‘outsider’.

“I have with the people here for almost eight years now. Ever since I contested Lok Sabha in 2004, I have known Sarojini Nagar and the people here very well. I have relationships with people of Sarojini Nagar and I have been standing with them in their good and bad times. People are love me and trust me, they are showering love and respect as they know that I am here to stay and will listen to their woes,” said Mishra.

Taking a veiled dig at BJP’s Rajeshwar Singh, Abhishek Mishra said, “Meanwhile speaking about the contestant from the other party (Rajeshwar Singh), people are not really sure if he will stay here or not as he doesn’t belong to Lucknow and neither does he live here. People are raising questions about what exactly did he do for which he was rewarded in this way. He was with an investigative agency and the Janta is asking ki unhone aisa kya kia? (what did he do) that he was given a BJP ticket.”

On the issue if the SP has fielded him because of being a Brahmin face, Abhishek Mishra said, “The party didn’t tell me why I was fielded from here, it was my party’s direction to contest from here and I followed that. Our main issue is work and development instead of raising communal issues, speaking on the castes lines, diving people in the name of temple and mosque, talking about Taliban and Pakistan. Instead I will speak about the issues from roads, water, employment, education in order to develop our state. I will work towards eradicating the politics of religion and hate.”

Reacting on the allegations of lawlessness in the state during SP regime, Mishra said, “If you see the NCRB data, it suggests that law and order situation in UP is worst at the moment be it heinous crimes, rapes, murders, crimes against elderly, etc. If you see the data in context with the categorization of riots then too the condition today is much words than what it was during the Samajwadi Party regime. The BJP people are just good at lying, if someone was so bad then what were they doing in last five years? Why didn’t they take any action, were they waiting for elections?”

All nine assembly seats of Lucknow, including Bakshi Ka Talab, Sarojini Nagar, Lucknow West, Lucknow East, Lucknow Central, Lucknow North, Mohanlalganj (Reserve), Malihabad and Lucknow Cantonment, will go to polls in the fourth phase on February 23, while the counting will be done on 10 March.

The preparations for polling in Sarojini Nagar has been completed by the Election Commission as 610 polling booths at 227 polling centers have been made.

A total of 557376 voters are registered here out of which 299811 are males while 257541 are females and 24 are third gender voters. Also 4264 first time voters are registered this time.

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