Tag: SP-BSP candidate

Bhim Army chief’s challenge to Narendra Modi fizzles out

A file photo of Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan (Image credit: India TV)

Dalit leader and Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan on Wednesday retracted his decision to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Varansi Lok Sabah Constituency. Instead, he announced his support to the SP-BSP alliance if it fields Satish Chandra Mishra, Mayawati’s general secretary, for the seat.

“I have decided not to contest from Varanasi because I do not want to strengthen the BJP or Modi in anyway with my decision. For, we all want to defeat the BJP,” he told the media. He also said Mishra’s candidacy would help the alliance get some upper caste votes.

With this announcement Azad has made several U-turns in shot. In March he had declared his candidacy for the Varanasi seat and sought support from all other parties. Then, he had criticised Mishra for conspiring against his Bhim Army by “misleading” BSP chief Mayawati, who is said to critical of him. And at an event to observe Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14 in Madhya Pradesh, he had claimed that it was Bhim Army, not Mayawati, which has real interests for Dalits.

Chandrashekhar Azad was in news in March, when Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited him in hospital in Meerut. Following her visit, speculations were rife about his support to Congress in Uttar Pradesh, which he denied at that time. But a few days ago, he announced Bhim Army’s support to Congress candidate Imran Masood in Saharanpur Lok Sabha seat in the state. In Maharashtra also, the Dalit group is supporting the Congress-NCP alliance.

Now it remains to be seen if Azad makes another U-turn to announce his support to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, if she contests against Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

It’s Shatrughan Sinha’s wife vs Rajnath Singh in Lucknow?

Poonam Sinha
Poonam Sinha’s family with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in its happier times with the BJP (Image credit NDTV)

Sitting BJP MP from Patna Sahib parliamentary constituency in Bihar, Shatrughan Sinha, has recently joined the Congress after being denied ticket to contest in the April-May Lok Sabha elections. And actor-turned-politician is all set to fight the election from the same seat as Congress candidate against BJP heavyweight Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Now it appears Shatrughan Sinha has decided to bring in his wife Poonam Sinha to politics to fight against another BJP heavyweight Rajnath Singh from Lucknow parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

According to reports, the 69-year-old Poonam Sinha will be fielded as Ghatabandan’s (SP-BSP alliance) candidate. The Congress will leave the constituency alone, in line with its decision to not contest seven key seats in Uttar Pradesh in a friendly gesture towards Ghatabandan. It means there would a direct between Rajanath Singh and Poonam Sinha.

Reports say caste calculations are the main reason for picking Poonam Sinha for the Lucknow seat.  The voters in the constituency include about 4 lakh Kayasthas (the caste of Shatrughan Sinha), 1.3 lakh Sindhis (the caste of Poonam) and 3.5 lakh Muslims.

However, Lucknow has been a BJP bastion, with the party winning every single Lok Sabha election since 1991. It remains to be seen if Poonam Sinha could garner all these votes undivided to unseat Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.