The UP elections witnessed massive campaigning from all the major parties such as BJP, BSP, SP and the Congress alliance.
Whereas PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were the star campaigners for their parties, BSP chief Mayawati left no stone unturned to win voter hearts’.
BSP and BJP have both criticised SP while alleging that law and order has deteriorated in its reign. Further, both these parties have claimed that they will end lawlessness in the state.
On the other hand, SP and Congress struck an alliance as UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi asked votes in the name of development and good governance.
Let’s have a look at some of the prominent candidates in the UP polls:
1. Mukhtar Ansari - BSP
Four-time MLA and Quami Ekta Dal (QED) founder Mukhtar Ansari contested the UP polls from the Mau assembly constituency on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket.
Ansari had earlier won a seat from Mau in 1996 on a BSP ticket. Ansari's son Abbas and brother Sibgatulla also contested the elections from Ghosi and Mohammadabad assembly constituencies respectively on BSP tickets.
2. Azam Khan - SP
Samajwadi Party veteran Azam Khan contested the elections from Rampur seat in the elections on a Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket.
Azam Khan has been a member of legislative assembly for eight terms. He also holds the cabinet portfolios for Parliamentary affairs, Muslim waqf, Urban development, Water supplies, Urban employment & Poverty alleviation, overall Urban development, Minority welfare & Haj in the Uttar Pradesh government.
3. Sangeet Som - BJP
Sangeet Som, who had earlier given an ultimatum to the UP govt to bring Hindus back to Kairana, fought the elections on BJP ticket from Sardhana, Meerut.
The BJP MLA had alleged that Hindus people in Kairana lived in fear due to the ‘communal atmosphere’ created by some political parties.
Som is also an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
4. Gayatri Prasad Prajapati- SP
Samajwadi Party has fielded sitting MLA and controversial leader Gayatri Prajapati in Amethi.
Currently, a FIR has been lodged against Prajapati for his alleged roles in separate cases of gangrape and an attempt to rape another woman and her minor daughter.
5. Shivpal Yadav - SP
Senior SP leader Shivpal Yadav and brother of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav contested from Jaswantnagar seat of Etawah. Etawah is the political bastion of Mulayam Yadav and he wholeheartedly campaigned for his brother in the polls.
Pankaj Singh - BJP
Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh contested on a BJP ticket from the Noida assembly constituency. Pankaj has been part of active politics since 2002 and is currently working as General Secretary –BJP, UP.
Aparna Yadav - SP
Samajwadi Party fielded Aparna Yadav, wife of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second son Prateek, from Lucknow Cantt seat for the UP Assembly polls.
Aparna took on BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi, a former MLA from the constituency who recently joined the party after quitting Congress.
Rita Bahuguna Joshi - BJP
Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who won the Lucknow Cannt assembly seat in the last election, contested on the seat from a BJP ticket.
Mrs Joshi faced competition for the seat from Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav.
Abbas Ansari - BSP
Abbas Ansari, a gold medallist national-level shooter and son of jailed don Mukhtar Ansari contested for the elections from the Ghosi assembly seat on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)'s ticket.
Garima Singh - BJP
BJP fielded Garima Singh, the estranged first wife of Amethi royal and Congress leader Sanjay Singh from Amethi, ostensibly to reap the sympathy for her and redeem her name and position in the royal family.
Amita Singh - Congress
Sanjay Singh’s second wife Amita Singh has been fielded by the Congress in Amethi. The battle for Amethi has thus also become a battle between the two queens of the Amethi royal family.