Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday issued an appeal to Lucknow's voters here to support the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Lok Sabha candidate Lalji Tandon.
The appeal was read out by Vajpayee's private secretary Shiv Kumar at a press conference at the BJP office Friday.
"Till now, I personally used to visit you all for votes. This time also, I wanted to meet you but cannot do the same due to my ill health that is also preventing me from contesting the elections. I appeal you to make Lalji Tandon victorious and send him to parliament," the former prime minister wrote in the letter.
The BJP has decided to circulate the copies of the letter among residents of Lucknow to garner support for Tandon.
"As a part of our strategy, we will undertake a door-to-door campaign to circulate the copies of the letter in different localities of Lucknow," said Shiv Kumar.
Vajpayee has represented the Lucknow parliamentary constituency for five consecutive times.
Talking to reporters, Tandon said: "I am feeling proud that Atalji, who is known for his leadership skills in India and abroad, issued an appeal to make me win in the Lok Sabha polls."
He said he has full faith in the voters of Lucknow.
The BJP candidate accused his political opponents of distributing gifts to lure the public to vote for them.
"Some are distributing cycles, others are distributing T-shirts, lunch packets, diaries and other gifts to lure voters," he alleged.
Tandon criticised his Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) rival Akhilesh Das for his "derogatory" comments against Nafisa Ali, the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate.
"The words were insulting and I know women of Lucknow will give a befitting reply to Akhilesh Das for making derogatory comments against a woman candidate," he said.
At a poll rally here Monday, Das - who left the Congress to join the BSP - described Nafisa as a "budhiya" (old woman). He made it a point to mention that Nafisa's husband was a Sikh, apparently to convey to the Muslims among the voters that she was not married into a Muslim family.