With 2019 Lok Sabha elections just around the corner, Poonam Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, on Tuesday joined Samajwadi Party (SP) in presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow. Yadav is a Samajwadi Party MP from Kannauj.
"Shatrughan Sinha's wife Poonam Sinha joins Samajwadi Party in presence of Dimple Yadav in Lucknow," the Akhilesh Yadav-led party tweeted in Hindi.
आज लखनऊ में सांसद श्रीमती डिम्पल यादव जी की उपस्थिति में श्रीमती पूनम सिन्हा जी ने समाजवादी पार्टी की सदस्यता ग्रहण की। pic.twitter.com/AdjeuaYBc3— Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) April 16, 2019
Soon after the development, former Cabinet minister and SP leader Ravidas Mehrotra confirmed the media - Sinha will be contesting against Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency, adding that she will file her nomination on April 18 for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls 2019.
Furthermore, Mehrotra urged the Congress not to field its nominee from Lucknow and support the candidature of Sinha from the Uttar Pradesh capital.
"Poonam Sinha ji will be the SP-BSP-RLD candidate from Lucknow. She will file nomination on April 18. We appeal to the Congress that do not field your candidate from here so that BJP can be defeated," Mehrotra was quoted as saying to media.
Ravidas Mehrotra, SP: Poonam Sinha ji (wife of Shatrughan Sinha) will be the SP-BSP-RLD candidate from Lucknow. She will file nomination on April 18. We appeal to the Congress that do not field your candidate from here so that BJP can be defeated. #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/Xp2y3M6Wz1— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 16, 2019
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 the party candidate from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.
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.