Lok Sabha elections 2019: BJP announces names against Sonia Gandhi, Mulayam Singh
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) put up former Congress member of legislative council Dinesh Pratap Singh against United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli and fielded Bhojpuri actor-turned-singer Dinesh Chandra Yadav aka Nirahua against Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav from Azamgarh.
“Akhilesh ji is a big leader. It would be interesting to contest against him,” Nirahua said on his candidature.
Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesman Abdul Hafiz Gandhi said, “The BJP candidate will lose his deposit against Akhilesh ji. Political leaders aren’t made in a day and the BJP will realise it.”
The BJP also announced candidates against Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri and against Mulayam’s cousin and SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav’s son Akshay Yadav in Firozabad from where Mulayam’s younger brother Shivpal Yadav is contesting the election on his newly floated outfit Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia).
“Given the party’s posturing in adjacent Amethi, BJP candidate in Rae Bareli was the one everyone was waiting for. They have chosen a Congress turncoat, who would now be tested on his tall claims of challenging the Gandhis in their family bastion,” said Athar Hussain from the Centre for Objective Research and Development.
Barring 1977, 1996 and 1998, Rae Bareli has stood with the Congress since 1952 and Sonia Gandhi has represented the constituency since 2004.
“It’s now obvious that despite trying so much the BJP could finally not get any better candidate than the one they chose. It showcases desperation and frustration in BJP,” said Congress’s Piyush Mishra.
Dinesh Pratap Singh joined the BJP in the presence of party chief Amit Shah in Rae Bareli in April 2018.
BJP leaders said the party also considered fielding Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi and UP minister Anupama Jaiswal, as well as UP BJP spokesman Hero Bajpai, but finally preferred the former Congress MLC.
After Shah’s rally in Rae Bareli in April 2018, PM Modi too held a rally in December in the Congress bastion. BJP announced Prem Singh Shakya as candidate against Mulayam . Congress has decided against putting up a candidate in the constituency. In Firozabad, BJP has fielded Chandra Sen Jadun as its candidate. The Firozabad seat is held by Mulayam’s nephew Akshay Yadav who is the son of SP heavyweight Ram Gopal Yadav.