Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former prime minister and veteran Parliamentarian, will be a hard act to follow. But 56 candidates want to try, as they seek election from Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.
With Vajpayee stepping away from the electoral battle-field, there is a mad scramble among hopefuls to go into battle. Of these 56 candidates, 18 filed their papers on Thursday, the last day for filing nomination.
Among the major parties, the BJP has chosen to field Lalji Tandon in the place of Vajpayee, who had won the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat five times in a row since 1991.
Tandon, a sitting MLA from Lucknow, is banking on the name and charisma of Vajpayee to see him through to New Delhi.
"Lucknow had been the karmbhoomi of Atal and he has done a lot for the development of this constituency. I am confident that people ensure my success, because if I win, it will be the former Prime Minister's victory," Tandon said.
However, Tandon is expected to face stiff opposition from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) nominee and former Union Minister of State for Steel Akhilesh Das Gupta. Gupta, besides being a former member of the Rajya Sabha, is also the son of former Chief Minister Banarasi Das Gupta.