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Rajnath Singh Retains Lucknow Seat, Beats SP’s Ravidas Mehrotra

Rajnath Singh, Union Minister for Defence, won in his third electoral bid from Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow constituency in the Lok Sabha election according to the Election Commission of India.

Singh’s closest rival for the seat is Ravidas Mehrotra of the Samajwadi Party was short of 1,35,159 votes, according to the ECI. Mohammad Sarwar Malik of the Bahujan Samaj Party came third with 30,192 votes.

For the last 33 years, the voters of Lucknow have consistently backed BJP candidates, with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee representing the seat in the lower house of Parliament from 1991 to 2004.

In 2009, the seat was won by BJP’s Lal Ji Tandon, who defeated Congress’ Rita Bahuguna Joshi with a margin of 7.0%. Subsequently, in 2014, the BJP fielded Rajnath Singh, who also defeated Joshi with a margin of 26.38%.

Singh, aged 72, retained the seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls by defeating Samajwadi Party candidate Poonam Shatrughan Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha.

Rajnath Singh has been associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, since 1964. He was appointed as the general secretary of the organisation’s unit in Mirzapur in 1972, and two years later, in 1974, he joined politics and became secretary of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

He made his electoral debut in 1977 on a Janata Party ticket and was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. After gaining popularity in the state, Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as one of its initial members in 1980.

In 1988, he was elected as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) in Uttar Pradesh and was appointed the state’s education minister in 1991. Three years later, in 1994, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha and served as the BJP’s chief whip.

As president of BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit from 1997 to 1999, Singh focused on expanding and strengthening the party. He then joined the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government as Union Surface Transport Minister.

Also read: Counting day: Union ministers lead across seats, show early trends

In 2000, he was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In 2005, a year after the BJP lost power to the Congress-led UPA at the Centre, Rajnath Singh became the party president and took many steps to strengthen the party at the grassroots level.

He also won the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat in 2009, defeating the Congress party’s Surendra Prakash Goyal with a margin of 10.93%.

During the first term of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, Rajnath Singh was the Union Home Minister. In Modi’s second term, he was appointed as the Union Defence Minister.

The Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency went to the polls in the fifth phase on May 20, recording a voter turnout of 52.23%.

The Lok Sabha polls for 543 seats were held in seven phases starting from April 19, with the last phase on June 1. The Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking a rare third term at the Centre with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

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