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Rajnath Singh crosses Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s victory margin in Lucknow constituency

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-05-2014 PTI

Lucknow: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh surpassed the highest victory margin of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of 0.21 million votes, set in 2004, by winning the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat with a difference of over 0.27 million votes.

Singh, however, could not touch the highest percentage of votes secured by Vajpayee, 57.82% in 1998, who contested from Lucknow eight times since 1951 out of which he remained successful five times.

The BJP president won the seat by garnering 55.7% of the total 10,06,483 votes polled which included 4,596 “none of the above” choice exercised by the voters.

Vajpayee has won the seat in 2004 with a victory margin of over 0.21 milion votes defeating his nearest rival Madhu Gupta of Samajwadi Party (SP) and garnering 56.12% of the total votes polled during the election. However, in terms of poll percentage, the most spectacular victories were recorded by former chief minister of the state Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna who contested on Bhartiya Lok Dal (BLD) ticket in post-emergency elections of 1977 to claim 72.99% of total votes.

Bahuguna’s daughter Rita Bahuguna Joshi, a Congress MLA and former UPCC chairperson, remained runner-up in these elections managing 2,88,357 of the total votes.

For Vajpayee, Lucknow was always not a bed of roses as he was defeated as Jan Sangh candidate in 1951, 1957 and 1962 elections when Congress’ Vijai Laxmi Pandit, P.L. Banerjee and B.K. Dhaon won the seat.

The moderate face of BJP again came back to Lucknow in 1991 when Ram Mandir movement was at the peak and won the seat consecutively five times before chosing not to contest in 2009 when he bowed out of active politics.

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