The Lucknow Central assembly seat, which was in the kitty of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as Brajesh Pathak had won from this seat in 2017, is witnessing a close contest in the Uttar Pradesh elections 2022.
While the BJP has fielded Rajneesh Gupta, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded former MLA Ravidas Mehrotra, and the Congress has given ticket to Sadaf Jafar, who was in the headlines during the Anti-Citizenship Act protests in Lucknow. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Ashish Chandra Mishra.
In 2017, Pathak, the current MLA, who is also the law minister in the Yogi Adityanath government of UP, had defeated Mehrotra by 5,094 votes. At the same time, the BSP stood third in the election.
In 2012, Mehrotra became an MLA on SP ticket. As per 2017 data, 4, 47,504 voters were registered in this seat. However, this number is expected to rise this election.
All nine assembly seats of Lucknow, including Bakshi Ka Talab, Sarojini Nagar, Lucknow West, Lucknow East, Lucknow Central, Lucknow North, Mohanlalganj (Reserve), Malihabad and Lucknow Cantonment, will go to polls in the fourth phase on February 23.
Lucknow Central has been won by the BJP seven times, Congress twice and once by the SP.
Gupta, a businessman, is making full use of technology, along with reaching out to voters door-to-door. A team of young professionals has been accompanying Gupta during his campaign as they try to upload content on various social media platforms. He has been a BJP corporator from Yahiyaganj ward in Old Lucknow area.
“The policies of the BJP have always talked of development and this is what gives us confidence. The public supports the policies of Yogi Ji and Modi Ji. The work done by the BJP government in past five years is being appreciated by many, be it the Ayushman scheme or the free ration scheme. We will ensure more development if voted to power again,” said Gupta, while speaking to News18.
However, the change of candidate by the BJP has given political ammunition to the Opposition.
Congress candidate Jafar alleged that lack of development had upset people, which is why the BJP changed its candidate.
Speaking to News18, Jafar said, “The response of the people has been quite good as people hope that this time they will seek a change in the Lucknow Central seat. Had the incumbent MLA done any work, there wouldn’t have been any need to change the candidate. People are against communalism and fake socialism this time.”
The SP is looking forward to wrest its seat. Mehrotra is known for protests and even has a record for going to jail 250 times in various cases. Busy in his campaigning schedule, he was not available for a comment.