Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday filed his nomination from Lucknow constituency for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. However, the Opposition is yet to find its candidate against him.
The nominations on the prestigious seat, a BJP stronghold for the last 18 years, close in two days and the voting there will take place 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 and Congress but all have refused to contest from this seat.
Meanwhile, there were reports of Samajwadi Party fielding Poonam Sinha – wife of Shatrughan Sinha who recently quit BJP and joined hands with the Congress – from the seat, but there was no announcement on the same.
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).