In Lucknow’s Mohanlalganj Seat, Congress Has Fielded Kanshi Ram’s Aide against Mayawati’s Confidant
RK Chaudhary, who had started his political career with the BSP under the leadership of Kanshi Ram, had even contested the 2014 general election on a BSP ticket, but lost to Kishor by almost 1.45 lakh votes.
File photo of Congress' Mohanlalganj candidate RK Chaudhary.
Lucknow: As the fifth phase of election inches closer, an interesting contest is being played out in the Mohanlalganj Lok Sahha seat of Lucknow where former BSP leader and close aide of Kanshi Ram, RK Chaudhary, is in fray against CL Verma, who is considered close to party supremo Mayawati.
While Chaudhary is the Congress candidate here, the BJP’s Kaushal Kishor, who is said to have a good hold among members of the Pasi community, is seeking a re-election.
Chaudhary had started his political career with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) under the leadership of Kanshi Ram, who had made him the party’s state co-ordinator. He was also given a cabinet berth in 1993 when the BSP allied with the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party to form the government in Uttar Pradesh.
Chaudhary’s first electoral win was the by-election on the Allahabad Assembly seat in 1994.
He held some of the most important portfolios during the BSP regime in the state. He had even contested the 2014 general election from Mohanlalganj on a BSP ticket, but lost to Kishor by almost 1.45 lakh votes.
Chaudhary, however, joined the Samajwadi Party in 2018. Soon after the grand alliance was announced by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, Chaudhary again switched camps and entered the Congress camp, which offered him the Lok Sabha ticket from Mohanlalganj.
In the 2017 Assembly election, Chaudhary had decided to contest as an independent candidate and had bagged about 55,000 votes, while the runner-up and BSP candidate Ram Bahadur bagged 71,044 votes. The seat was won by SP’s Ambrish Singh Pushkar who had 530 more votes in his kitty.
Meanwhile, Verma, the gathbandhan candidate for Mohanlalganj and a favourite of Mayawati, has also been the personal secretary of former BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui.
Though the reserved seat, comprising the five Assembly seats of Malihabad, Bakshi Ka Talab, Sarojini Nagar, Mohanlalganj and Sidhauli, has never sided with the BSP, it has voted four SP candidates to power.
Meanwhile, with an eye on Dalit votes, the BJP’s Kishor has had party president Amit Shah as his personal guest.
With Dalit voters playing a key role in this parliamentary seat, it is to be seen which way they finally tilt in the ongoing election.
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