Poonam Sinha, wife of Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha, filed nomination for the Lok Sabha Elections from Lucknow today. Poonam Sinha will contest the General Elections on Samajwadi Party ticket. She is pitted against BJP stalwart Rajnath Singh in high-stake battle in Uttar Pradesh’s capital. Her candidature was announced by SP president Akhilesh Yadav on April 17. "After due deliberations with the party leaders, it has been decided that Poonam Sinha will be the party nominee from Lucknow seat," Yadav had said.
Poonam Sinha had joined the SP in the presence of party leader Dimple Yadav in Lucknow on Tuesday, the day when the sitting MP, Rajnath Singh filed his nomination papers. "The Samajwadi Party will fight the election on the Lucknow seat only on the basis of the development works done by the SP and BSP governments," Yadav said.
Reminding people of Lucknow of the work done in the past by his party, the SP chief appealed to them to vote for Sinha. "It is said that the first MP from here had been a woman," he said. Poonam Sinha's husband Shatrughan Sinha had recently quit the Bharatiya Janata Party and joined the Congress. A BJP stronghold for the last 18 years, Lucknow will vote in the fifth phase on May 6.
According to reports, Mira Talwar, Dauji Gupta, SP Singh, Alka Das (wife of former Union minister Akhilesh Das), a railway leader and Jitin Prasada were approached by the SP but all have refused to contest from this seat. Later, Poonam Sinha’s name was announced. Later, the Congress on Wednesday pitched self-styled spiritual guru Acharya Pramod Krishnam as its Lucknow candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.
The Lucknow seat is with BJP since 1991 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee won. He broke his own record in 1996 by defeating Raj Babbar (SP) by a margin of 1,18,671 votes. In 1998, SP gave ticket to Muzaffar Ali, who also tasted defeat and Atal's victory margin rose to 2.16 votes.
In 1999, Karan Singh of Congress tried to give a tough fight to Vajpayee but ultimately lost by 1.23 votes. In his last polls in 2004 again he again won by defeating Madu Gutpa (SP) by 2.18 lakh votes.
The legacy of Vajpayee was taken forward by his old associate Lalji Tandon, now serving as Governor in Bihar. He won the 2009 polls by securing 34.93 per cent votes while rival Rita Bahuguna Joshi (then Congress) got 27.93 per cent votes.
BSP candidate Akhilesh Das was in third place and SP's Nafisa Ali was at fourth place.
In 2014, when BJP gave ticket to Rajnath Singh he broke all records and won by a margin of 5,61,106 votes by defeating his nearest rival Congress candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi (now in BJP).