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Gandhi cousins Rahul and Varun face acid test in Monday's polls in Amethi and Sultanpur

Last Modified Sunday, 26 February 2017 (11:57 IST)
New Delhi: In the fifth phase of polls in tomorrow, all eyes will be on elections to the four assembly segments under parliamentary segment, once a pocket borough of the Congress party and the country's first political dynasty. The Amethi assembly segment falls under the parliamentary constituency of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, which he won during a well contested poll in 2014. Of the 52 constituencies those going to the polls spread over 11 districts in tomorrow's fifth phase of polls in UP, the contest has turned more curious for Amethi assembly segment as the Samajwadi Party and the Congress could not work out any compromise formula thus forcing the Amethi battle into a triangular one. Besides Amethi, interesting contests are on cards in district also - which has five assembly segments.

In 2014 Lok Sabha seat, another 'dynasty' man - albeit of BJP - had won Sultanpur seat while BSP's Pawan Pandey had finished second. For Amethi, while the Congress and Samajwadi Party would have things to worry about obviously due to possible division of votes, the same factor will work in favour of the BJP and fetch in dividends, says saffron party leader Arun Singh. The BJP has fielded Ms Garima Singh, estranged wife of Congress leader Sanjay Singh, from prestigious Amethi assembly segment and as such the battle for the prestigious seat will be marred by feud in the royal family of the local 'Rajaji' Sanjay Singh as his son Anant Vikram Singh had joined BJP in 2014 in an obvious bid to challenge his father. While Congress nominee will be former badminton player
Ameeta Singh, wife of Sanjay Singh, Samajwadi Party's candidate is a controversial state Minister Gayatri Prajapati. There is also a fierce local battle of supremacy as Mr Prajapati, who is the sitting MLA, had humbled Ameeta in the 2012 assembly elections by a huge margin. Over the decades, the Congress grip in Amethi has weakened and in 2012, the grand old party managed to win just two of the five seats. In 2007, the Congress could win only three seats. The dramatic shortfall in Congress popularity in the area - often betraying lack of developmental works - led BJP chart out an ambitious plan when the saffron outfit fielded its vocal MP Smriti Irani against Mr in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
 The districts going to polls in this phase are Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi, and Sultanpur. The ruling Samajwadi Party had won 37 seats out of 52 (total seats in this phase including Alapur) in 2012 Assembly polls, while BJP and Congress won five seats each, BSP had won three, while Peace Party won two seats. The contests in the last three phases for the seat of power in Lucknow have intensified further in the wake of holds-no-barred rhetoric by political stalwarts against each other. Moreover, according to BJP leader Arun Singh, "Our party workers will be more enthused for the last minute wrap in these key seats including 52 assembly constituencies on as our party has been doing extremely well in Odisha and Maharahstra civic polls". "This enthusiasm will result in transformation of votes too," Mr Singh told UNI. (UNI)
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