Singh, however, could not touch the highest percentage of votes secured by Vajpayee, 57.82 percent in 1998, who contested from Lucknow eight times since 1951 out of which he remained successful five times.

The BJP president won the seat by garnering 55.7 percent of the total 10,06,483 votes polled which included 4,596 "none of the above" choice exercised by the voters.

Vajpayee had won the seat in 2004 with a victory margin of over 2.18 lakh votes defeating his nearest rival Madhu Gupta of Samajwadi party and garnering 56.12 percent of the total votes polled during the elections.

However, in terms of poll percentage, the most spectacular victories were recorded by former chief minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna who contested on Bhartiya Lok Dal ticket in post-emergency elections of 1977 to claim 72.99 percent of total votes.

Bahuguna's daughter Rita Bahuguna Joshi, a Congress MLA and former UPCC Chairman, remained runner up in these elections managing 2,88,357 of the total votes.

For Vajpayee, Lucknow was always not a bed of roses as he was defeated as Jan Sangh candidate in 1951, 1957 and 1962 elections when Congress' Vijai Laxmi Pandit, PL Banerjee and BK Dhaon won the seat.

The moderate face of BJP again came back to Lucknow in 1991 when Mandir movement was at the peak and won the seat consecutively five times before choosing not to contest in 2009 when he bowed out of active politics.

(Agencies)

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