Rajnath, Rita Joshi File Papers for Lucknow Seat
The run-up to the polls in the prestigious Lucknow Lok Sabha seat inched one step closer to the summit clash, with BJP candidate Rajnath Singh and his Congress counterpart Rita Bahuguna Joshi filing their nomination papers on Saturday.
While the filing of the papers was a routine affair, the surprise element was the huge procession, which included Muslims and women, that accompanied Joshi en route to the District Magistrate, who is also the Returning Officer.
While Rajnath offered puja at the famous Hanuman Temple in the posh Hazratganj market before filing the papers, Joshi straightaway headed to the Collectorate.
Apparently, the size of the crowd that tailed Joshi was a spot of bother to the rival camp, which had been convinced that Rajnath would score a facile win from the seat that was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s preserve.
The Congress high command is going all-out in its efforts to ensure the victory of its candidate and it is for this reason that veteran leader and AICC treasurer Motilal Vora accompanied Joshi. She had contested from Lucknow in 2009 but had lost to BJP’s Lalji Tandon by a margin of 40,000 votes. But this time, she is confident of scoring an upset win Currently, Joshi is MLA from Cantt seat here.
Similarly, the BJP leadership had asked former minister Shiv Kumar and personal assistant to Vajpayee to accompany Rajnath.
And the BJP chief has announced that Kumar would be his chief election agent because he had earlier been in-charge of Vajpayee’s campaign. Besides,Kumar is well-known to the party workers here. Recently Kumar had draped Rajnath with an angavastram gifted by Vajpayee. And it was seen as an affirmation of the patriarch formally passing on the mantle to Rajnath.