Battle for UP: Lucknow Cantt seat turns into a war of prestige

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The Lucknow Cantt seat made headlines even before the assembly elections began when leaders from various parties were seen vying for a ticket form here.

Aparna Yadav, younger daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav, is believed to have quit the Samajwadi Party (SP) to join the BJP merely because she was not given a ticket from Lucknow Cantt where she had lost in 2017.

It is another matter that the BJP did not give her a ticket either.

BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi also lobbied for a ticket from here for her son Mayank Joshi but failed.

The BJP has now fielded UP minister Brijesh Pathak who has shifted out of his Lucknow central seat. The BJP has denied ticket to the sitting MLA Suresh Tiwari. Pathak had won the 2017 elections with a margin of only 5000 votes.

The Lucknow Cantt seat is considered prestigious since it includes the trading hubs of the state capital.

It has a mixed population of 6.3 lakhs that includes defence veterans, Brahmins, Dalits, Sikhs and people from Uttarakhand in large numbers.

Two women MLAs have represented the constituency for five terms since 1980 – Premvati Tiwari of Congress in 1980, 1985 and 1989 and Rita Bahuguna Joshi who won the constituency twice in 2012 (INC) and 2017 (BJP).

Congress has won the seat at least eight times.

To enlist the support of businessmen and traders, SP, BSP and Congress have given tickets to local businessmen.

SP has fielded Raju Gandhi, 49, while BSP has named Brahmin businessman Anil Pandey,49. Congress has fielded a Sikh businessman Dilpreet Singh Virk, 36.

All of them are contesting for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party has fielded Ajay Kumar, an engineer who has served in the Indian Navy.

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