Representative image | Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brajesh Pathak who is facing Samajwadi Party candidate and two-time Corporator Surendra Singh Gandhi in the Lucknow Cantonment seat is among the prominent contender in the fourth phase of the state Assembly elections for which polling will be held on Wednesday.
Pathak exuded confidence in the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party and said that the latter will not allow opposition parties to fulfil their dream of coming to power in the state.
"We (BJP) are going to break the record of the last elections. We will not allow the opposition parties to fulfil their dream. They are trying to come to the power with the help of the mafias which will never happen. The BJP has built AIIMS, airport, metro and has provided cereals to poor people," the state Law Minister told ANI.
He also hit out at the Opposition for misleading people, supporting mafias and goons in Uttar Pradesh. He rejected the claims that the BJP has a tough task in the ongoing polls.
"The BJP will get a thumping majority in UP. There was a similar rumor in 2017 when people used to say that two boys (Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi) will change the face of the state. The son and nephew of an evil bandit like Dadua are contesting the elections in the SP tickets. Goons, mafias, rapists, and even accused in money laundering cases are contesting elections from the party," added Pathak.
The minister had won the Lucknow Central seat in 2017. UP minister Ashutosh Tandon is also in the fray from the Lucknow East seat against Deputy Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Nitin Agarwal, who is the Samajwadi Party nominee.
Another keenly watched seat in this phase is the Sarojini Nagar seat in Lucknow where the former joint director of Enforcement Directorate, Rajeshwar Singh, is pitted against a former IIM professor and a close aide of the former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Abhishek Mishra.
Raebareli Sadar is also one of the key battles to watch out for with its sitting Congress MLA Aditi Singh now being a BJP nominee.
The fate of all the 624 candidates contesting in the fourth phase of the UP elections will be sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) tomorrow. These 59 Assembly seats are spread across the districts of Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Banda, and Fatehpur.
Lakhimpur Kheri hogged the national limelight after eight people, including four farmers, were killed after being mowed down by a vehicle during a protest. The BJP leader Ajay Kumar Mishra's son Ashish Mishra is accused in the case.
The BJP's Yogesh Verma had won the Lakhimpur seat in the 2017 Assembly polls by defeating Samajwadi Party's Utkarsh Verma Madhur with a formidable margin of more than 37,000 votes. The prestige of the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni will also be at stake in the Lakhimpur Kheri constituency. He's a local MP, besides having been at the center of controversy after his son was named in the FIR in the incident leading to the deaths of the farmers.
Interestingly, both the BJP and the SP have repeated their candidates. The constituency caught the eyeballs in the ongoing polls because of the political heat generated by the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in the Parliament and also outside.
Congress has fielded Ravi Shankar Trivedi whereas the BSP has fielded Mohan Bajpai from the seat. Khushi Kinnar from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also in the fray along with AIMIM's Mohammad Usman Siddiqui.
The state is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP)-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as principal contenders.
As a last-minute effort, the political parties held intense election campaigns on Monday in Uttar Pradesh for the fourth phase of Assembly polls which ended in the evening on the same day.
The polling will commence in all the nine districts at 7 am and will conclude
Voting for the remaining three phases of the seven-phase UP elections will take place on February 27, March 3, and 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.