- Rajnath Singh faces Poonam Sinha of the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow
- Lucknow is an important seat that has been with the BJP since 1991
- Acharya Pramod Krishnam is the Congress candidate in the UP capital
Home Minister Rajnath Singh turned up at a polling booth in Lucknow to cast his vote at 7:30 am, half-an-hour after voting began in the fifth of the seven-round national election. The Home Minister faces Poonam Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, on this seat.
After casting his vote, Rajnath Singh stood in front of cameras and showed his inked finger, smiling.
"I can't predict anything," he said when reporters asked him what he felt about the election. "I leave the decision to the voters in Lucknow," he added.
"The people have the full right to choose who they want... In any case, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi will become PM again," said the Home Minister, who is seeking re-election from Lucknow.
The BJP had bagged 12 of the 14 seats going to polls in this round in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 national election. Amethi and Raebareli, from where UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is contesting, were the only two seats the Congress won in the state in 2014.
Poonam Sinha, an actor herself, had joined the Samajwadi Party last month. She is fighting on a seat where the party led by former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has never won.
"The mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) is no challenge for the BJP here. I don't want to comment on her (Poonam Sinha) as I believe elections are not about individuals but about issues," Rajnath Singh told ANI today.
Lucknow is an important seat that has been with the BJP since 1991. The party's iconic leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee held it from 1991 to 2009. Rajnath Singh, who won the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from western Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad, took over the Lucknow seat in 2014. Mr Singh had defeated Congress's Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who is now in the BJP.
The Congress has picked self-proclaimed spiritual guru Acharya Pramod Krishnam as its Lucknow candidate.