However, in spite of this eruditeness, the presence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh, who is locked in a multi-cornered contest in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, has heated up the scheme of things.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who represented the prestigious seat in the Lok Sabha, mainly relied on Brahmins and Shia Muslims to sail through the polls.

However, the initial indifference shown by both these communities had made the elections quite interesting.

But bringing his skills as well as stature into application, the BJP president has been able to turn the political wave in his favour. By staying aloof from making tough statements and by establishing a direct communication with the people, in a tone similar to that of Atal Bihar Vajpayee, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister has also been able to present himself as a ‘worthy’ successor to the charismatic former statesman.

On the other hand, former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who finished second in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, is also slogging hard day-in and day-out to ensure that she stays in the direct contest.

Even the ruling Samajwadi Party candidate Ahishek Mishra and Bahujan Samaj Party nominee Nakul Dubey are trying hard to make the contest multi-cornered. Besides, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Jaaved Jaffrey is likely to play the role of party-pooper.

When Rajnath came to contest from Lucknow constituency for the first time, there was a buzz of sorts on this seat, which has been a ‘traditional’ hub for the saffron party.

Though Kayastha, Vaishya, Punjabi, Khatri and Sindhi form a major chunk of the city’s electorate, the silence of Brahmins and Shia Muslims gave an indication that the elections are going to be tough this time.

In spite of that, Modi effect can be clearly seen among the people belonging to lower strata of the society. To add to the worries of Rajnath, Rita Joshi has played a major trump card by intensifying her efforts to bring together Muslims and Brahmins at one platform.

Besides, there are several voters in the city hailing from the hills that generally support BJP but by backing Rita in the 2012 Assembly elections, they have sent her to state Assembly.  She is also expecting a lot from them this time too.

BJP leaders including Lalji Tandon who were denied tickets are quite disappointed and they tried to make the road ahead for Rajnath quite difficult.

Grasping this, Rajnath not only pumped in all his efforts but also made sure that the dissent within house doesn’t act as obstacle for him. Though the BJP chief has been successful in doing so, it can’t yet be said whether he has been able to pacify all sections.

The ‘H’ factor in Lucknow

Sudhanshu Trivedi and Dinesh Sharma are looking after Rajnath’s poll campaign in Lucknow. The BJP got a major boost in its arm after the influential Brahmin community came out in open regarding their support for the saffron party.

Amid all these developments, Rajnath’s meeting with veteran Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari, where he sought octogenarian leader’s blessings to emerge victorious in the polls, have made the things more interesting.

Two days later, Rita Bahuguna Joshi also met the senior Congress leader in order to seek assistance in bagging votes from those who hail from hills.

It’s indeed interesting that the Brahmin community is not talking much about the Abhishek Mishra and Nakul Dubey.

Rita missing her ‘CM’ brother

Though Rita Bahuguna Joshi is contesting the elections from Lucknow and things are not that oddly stacked against her, the fact that her brother Vijay Bahuguna was removed as Uttarakhand Chief Minister just a few months ahead of the elections is working against her.

She sought support of a number of people when her brother held the position of Chief Minister of the hill state and anticipating that their work would be executed in Uttarakhand, several people joined hands with her.

But the sudden ouster of Vijay has come off as a major blow to Rita as the development could see dwindle in her poll prospects as well as fortunes.

However, one thing from which she can take heart that in spite of several efforts of the BJP, Lucknow will see a direct contest between her and saffron party president Rajnath Singh.

Rajnath pacifying Brahmin community

The biggest challenge before Rajnath Singh was to tackle Congress and BSP’s continuous charge that the BJP is ignoring and insulting the Brahmin community, which forms a major vote share in Lucknow.

The saffron party was also charged with sending the Brahmins to sidelines. It needs to be mentioned here that the stance of Brahmin voters also leave a significant impact upon the voters of other communities.

Taking this very fact into consideration, Rajnath wasted no time in addressing it. The BJP chief had to pacify them who kept a stoic silence regarding their support for quite a long time.

Apart from chanting mantras, he also brought Brahmin faces in front line of his campaigns and roadshows on Sunday in Lucknow.


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