After prolonged dithering, the Congress Tuesday evening decided to field its Uttar Pradesh state chief Rita Bahuguna from the Lucknow parliamentary seat.
The announcement was made in New Delhi after Samajwadi Party strongman Amar Singh hijacked beauty queen-turned-actress-turned-social activist Nafisa Ali from the Congress and named her his party's Lucknow nominee.
The real contest in Lucknow would take place between Akhilesh Das of the Bahujan Samaj Party, also formerly of the Congress, and Bhartiya Janata Party's Lalji Tandon, who is known to be close to former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who held this seat for five consecutive terms.
Bahuguna hails from Allahabad. Her father, the late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, struck tremendous goodwill with Muslims during his stint as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
"We are thrilled over the announcement and we are confident she will be victorious from here," claimed Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Subodh Srivastava.