Soon after actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha had, after being shunned by the BJP, showed his keenness to join the Congress, there have been reports that his wife, Poonam Sinha, will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency.
Poonam Sinha will reportedly contest on the Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket with the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) support and plans to take on BJP’ bigwig and the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh from Lucknow.
Since the Congress has decided not to field a candidate from Lucknow and support the candidature of Sinha from the Uttar Pradesh capital, Poonam Sinha and Rajnath Singh are set to take on each other one-on-one.
A Congress functionary confirmed that “Jitin Prasada was keen to contest from Lucknow and he had to be persuaded to opt for his constituency Dhaurhara. Decks have now been cleared and Lucknow will be one of the seven seats that the Congress has said that it would leave for the SP-BSP alliance.”
The decision to field Poonam Sinha as the joint opposition candidate against Rajnath Singh is an attempt by the Samajwadi Party to keep the Home Minister confined to his constituency, said party sources who furthered that the party has already completed its homework and was all set to field Poonam Sinha from the Capital city of Uttar Pradesh.
“There are four lakh Kayastha voters and 1.3 lakh Sindhi voters in Lucknow, apart from 3.5 lakh Muslims. (Poonam Sinha is a Sindhi while her husband Shatrughan Sinha is a Kayastha). This will give a major push to her candidature,” said an SP leader.
BJP General Secretary Vijay Pathak, however, dismissed the issue and said, “Lucknow has always been a BJP bastion and continues to be one. Rajnath Singh has ensured a lot of development of the state capital and has a rapport with the people. An imported candidate will not cut much ice with the voters.”
Sources confirmed that it was Poonam Sinha’s appointment that had led to the postponement of Shatrughan Sinha’s joining the Congress. He is now slated to join the Congress in Delhi on April 6 and will be the party candidate from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.
In fact, the actor-turned-politician, who was known to be acrimonious towards his own party, was particularly irked as BJP had earlier decided to field Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Patna Sahib seat, from where he is a sitting MP.
The BJP, sick and tired of the rebel within their party had shown Shatrughan the red flag at the beginning of the year, asking him to quit the party if he so wanted.
The rebel leader, who has been openly speaking against BJP and taking part in opposition rallies for quite some time now, had recently met the Congress President, and had shared a picture with him on Twitter hailing the Gandhis as “the family of Nation builders”.
Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley has recently thanked Congress Party for accepting their ‘problem’. According to reports, Jaitley said, “Some eminent former BJP men have been accepted by the Congress as a gift. We thank Congress. Our problem is now yours. Good luck!”
Interestingly, Rajnath Singh had won the Lucknow seat in 2014 garnering 55.7 percent of the total 10,06,483 votes polled. He had won in all the five assembly segments of the constituency.