Come Lok Sabha polls,country’s largest Lok Sabha constituency in terms of vote percentage,Unnao,is set to witness an interesting battle.
For the last few elections,it has been observed that Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajawadi Party (SP) have been vying for supremacy in the district. But with the Congress fielding social worker Annu Tandon as its candidate,the party has posed a major challenge before the BSP and SP.
Though BSP’s Brijesh Pathak is the sitting parliamentarian from Unnao,the party has fielded Arun Shankar Shukla alias Anna as its candidate.
The SP,on the other hand,has relied on old party warhorse Deepak Kumar,who is the sitting legislator from the Unnao Assembly seat and has won the Lok Sabha seat in 1999.
As for the BJP,the party has announced Ramesh Singh as its candidate. Previously,Singh had twice contested as the BJP candidate from Bangarmau Assembly seat of Unnao but on both occasions,he failed to win the Assembly seat for the party.
A major factor which is in favour of Tandon has been her association with the district as a social worker for the last 10 years. She has played an important role in promoting education in the district,and providing stationery to children from humble background.
Founder of Hriday Narain Dhawan Charitable Trust,Tandon has held several programmes running in the district to provide aid to widows and physically-challenged persons.
“I never served the people with the intention of contesting elections. But after a decade of dedicated commitment towards the residents of the district,I now deserve a bigger platform to serve people,” said Tandon.
When it comes to the running cost of the organisation,Tandon says that she has never taken any financial aid from any organisation or group to help the people of Unnao. “With limited resources,I have made the best possible effort to improve the living standards of the people,” she said.
Tandon asserted that there has been virtually no development in Unnao for the past two decades. “Public representatives elected by the people of Unnao have failed to live up to their expectations,and the fact remains that in terms of basic amenities,the situation is deteriorating with each passing day,” she added.
Targeting Tandon,BSP candidate Arun Shankar Shukla said: “Her efforts to woo the voter by making fake promises and spending money will fail to do the trick for the Congress leader.”
He said his party will repeat the performance of 2004 Lok Sabha elections. “Due to poor performance,SP’s Deepak Kumar failed to retain his seat in 2004,and people of the district are no longer interested in him,” added Shukla.
Deepak Kumar,SP candidate,felt the opposite. “After the experience of BSP’s Brijesh Pathak,people of Unnao have lost faith on outsiders,” said Kumar.
He alleged that Pathak was ignoring the Unnao residents during his tenure. Regarding Tandon’s candidature,he said: “Neither the Congress nor its candidate has made any impact on the Lok Sabha seat,nor does she stand anywhere in the contest.”
* Voters: 18.97 lakh
* Male voters: 10.34 lakh
* Female voters: 8.62 lakh
* Polling Centres: 1,565
* Polling Booths: 2,068
The parliamentary constituency comprises six Assembly seats.