A day after inducting her into the party, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Wednesday fielded actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha's wife Poonam Sinha as its Lok Sabha candidate from Lucknow, the constituency where the BJP has fielded Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The candidature was announced by party chief Akhilesh Yadav this afternoon. Sinha is scheduled to file her nomination on Thursday, April 18, 2019.
On Tuesday, Poonam joined the SP in presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav, a Samajwadi Party MP from Kannauj. Soon after the development, former Cabinet minister and SP leader Ravidas Mehrotra hinted at Sinha's candidature from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.
Meanwhile, the Congress has decided not to field its nominee from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency and will support Sinha's candidature from the Uttar Pradesh capital. This would pave the way for a one-to-one face off between Rajnath Singh and Poonam Sinha, a political juggernaut of the opposition parties to keep the home minister confined to his constituency.
On April 6, Shatrughan Sinha, who has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP's top leadership, joined the Congress and will be contesting against Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Bihar's Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rajnath Singh swept the Lucknow seat garnering 55.7 per cent of the total 10,06,483 votes polled. He had won in all the five Assembly segments of the constituency.
General Elections 2019 in Lucknow is scheduled to take place on May 6 along with a total of 51 constituencies across seven states in India. The counting of votes for seven phase Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on May 23.