Election for 59 Assembly seats spread across nine districts of Uttar Pradesh will be held for the fourth phase of the polls on Wednesday. Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous and politically vital state, is holding elections in seven phases to elect 403 members of the Assembly. The last day of campaigning for the fourth round of the seven-phase elections was on Monday when political rivals stepped up their verbal attacks at each other during the last-minute canvassing.
This phase of polling will decide the fate of 624 candidates in 59 Assembly segments in the districts of Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Banda, and Fatehpur.
Here are key contests to watch out for:
BJP’s Yogesh Verma VS SP’s Utkarsh Verma
BJP’s Yogesh Verma is contesting from the Lakhimpur which had hit national news headlines after eight people, including four farmers, were killed in violence in October 2021. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Utkarsh Verma from the seat.
On October 3, last year, eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri district after a farmers’ protest turned violent. Four farmers were allegedly run over by an SUV.
Union MoS Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was arrested in connection with the incident but was later released from jail.
The constituency is set to witness high-stakes battle with the opposition cornering the BJP time
and again over the incident.
BJP’s Aditi Singh VS Congress’ Manish Chauhan
In its bastion Raebareli, the Congress is faced with stiff challenge as its MLA – Aditi Singh who switched over to the BJP ahead of the polls is contesting on the lotus symbol. Singh, who had won the seat in 2017 for the Congress, crossed over to the BJP in November last year. She is the daughter of senior Congress leader Akhilesh Kumar Singh.
The Congress has nominated Manish Chauhan from the seat while the SP has fielded RP Yadav.
After storming Amethi, once a so-called stronghold of the Congress, the BJP has it eyes set on the last Gandhi bastion and Sonia Gandhi’s home turf of Raebareli.
Ex-ED officer Rajeshwar Singh VS ex-minister Abhishek Mishra
The Sarojini Nagar Assembly segment will see a tough battle between former Enforcement Directorate officer Rajeshwar Singh fielded by the BJP and Abhishek Mishra, a former minister in the previous Samajwadi Party government.
Singh served as the joint director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at its zonal office in Lucknow. He joined the federal anti-money laundering investigations agency in 2009 on deputation from Uttar Pradesh where he was serving as a state police service officer.
UP law minister VS two-time corporator
The Lucknow Cantonment seat will also witness an interesting battle with Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brijesh Pathak facing Samajwadi party candidate and two-time corporator Surendra Singh Gandhi. Pathak had won the Lucknow Central seat in 2017.
BJP minister Ashutosh Tandon VS SP’s spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria
BJP minister Ashutosh Tandon is also among the prominent candidates in the fray in this phase. He has been pitted against SP’s national spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria from the Lucknow East seat.