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ALLAHABAD

Congress has been forced out of its hometown Allahabad for more than a decade now, courtesy BJP stalwart Murli Manohar Joshi.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2004 15:34 IST

Congress has been forced in oblivion in its hometown Allahabad for more than a decade now, thanks to the BJP stalwart physics professor Murli Manohar Joshi.

The last poll battle here had generated a lot of interest nationwide with the great leader Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna's daughter Rita joining the fray on Congress ticket. It had even forced the otherwise "inaccessible" and "arrogant" Allahabad University professor to ampaign more meticulously but in the end it turned out to be a no contest but indeed resulted in lesser victory margin for him. Rita was pushed to third place.

In 1999, Joshi defeated his closest rival Samajwadi Party's Kunwar Rewati Raman Singh alias maniji by 70,331 votes in an otherwise 10-cornered contest. Congress' Dr Reeta Bahuguja Joshi came in close third, polling 13,3,428 votes while BSP's Ram Dular Singh Patel stood fourth with 109383 votes.

Joshi had won the seat by a huge margin of 10,3,523 votes, defeating Saroj Dubey of Janata Dal.

'Bharat Maa ke teen dharohar; Atal, Advani, Murli Manohar' is still the most popular slogan among the BJP men here who have talked only about national issues in most of previous polls.

Caste equations

The constituency is dominated by Brahmins, who have fully backed Joshi in two previous polls. But lakhs of Muslim votes also matter.

The constituency of giants. The first MP from here in 1952 was ongress stalwart Sri Prakasam. Succeeding him in 1957 and 1962 was Lal Bahadur Shastri, and succeeding him in 1967 was LBS's son Hari Krishna. Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna won it for the Congress in 1971, and in 1977 Janeshwar Mishra defeated Vishwanath Pratap Singh of the Congress.

Singh won from here in 1980, and in 1984, superstar Amitabh Bachchan of the Congress trounced Bahuguna of the Lok Dal.

In 1989, Janeshwar Mishra of the JD defeated Bahuguna now of the Congress. The momentum was lost after that, in 1991 Saroj Dubey of the JD won the seat. In 1996 Murli Manohar Joshi won the seat for the BJP, defeating Dubey by 103,000 votes. The BSP, which came third, took away 102,352 votes.

First Published: Mar 26, 2004 14:07 IST