Actor-turned-politician and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha’s wife Poonam joined the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday in presence of Dimple Yadav. She will be fielded against Home Minister Rajnath Singh from the Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency.
With Congress yet to field its candidate from the crucial constituency, the decks are cleared for a one-to-one face-off between Rajnath Singh and Poonam Sinha. Congress leader Jitin Prasada, who was keen to contest from Lucknow, has opted for his constituency Dhaurhara.
SP leader Ravidas Mehrotra said Poonam would file her nomination on April 18 from Lucknow, where voting will take place on May 6. He also appealed to the Congress not to field any candidate from the constituency.
“Poonam Sinha ji (wife of Shatrughan Sinha) will be the SP-BSP-RLD candidate from Lucknow. She will file nomination on April 18. We appeal to the Congress that do not field your candidate from here so that BJP can be defeated,” ANI quoted Mehrotra as saying.
Poonam has been fielded from Lucknow keeping in mind the huge chunk of Kayastha and Sindhi voters. Poonam is a Sindhi while her husband Shatrughan Sinha is a Kayastha. There are four lakh Kayastha voters and 1.3 lakh Sindhi voters in Lucknow, apart from 3.5 lakh Muslims.
When asked whether she would be contesting against Singh, Poonam said, “Koi baat nahi, acchi tarah se ladenge (It does not matter. I will fight strongly).”
Reacting to Sinha’s candidature from Lucknow, Rajnath said, “Yes somebody must contest, that is the beauty of democracy. We will fight elections with full dignity.”
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rajnath Singh had won the Lucknow seat, garnering 55.7 per cent of the total 10,06,483 votes polled. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, then with Congress, had come second.
Rumours about Poonam taking an active plunge in politics had been going on for some time. “Poonam has been busy with social work for long. She is liked by all. People want her to contest but whether this will happen or not only time will tell,” Shatrughan had said last month.