Winning the Lucknow seat will be a "cakewalk" for Home Minister Rajnath Singh as the opposition is yet to find a suitable candidate for the seat that was once held by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, according to Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma.
"As per my information, Mira Talwar, Dauji Gupta, SP Singh, Alka Das (wife of former Union minister Akhilesh Das), a railway leader and Jitin Prasada were approached by the SP and Congress but all have refused to contest from this seat," Mr Sharma said.
"A new name (of Poonam Sinha) is doing the rounds now as opposition candidate. This is because people here are sensitive and have an emotional attachment with BJP candidates," Mr Sharma, who was Lucknow's mayor for 10 years, said.
The opposition, he said, "is unable to find a suitable candidate from this seat held by former PM Atalji, who had emotional connect with people of the state capital. Over half a dozen candidates have refused to contest from here. The seat will be a cakewalk for Rajnathji, who has carried forward development vision of Atalji in this constituency".
The Lucknow seat is with the BJP since 1991 when Mr Vajpayee won.
Recalling Mr Vajpayee's connect with the people, Mr Sharma said: "When I was contesting for the first time in 2006, Atalji came to campaign for me. At a meeting he was climbing stairs slowly even as people looked on when he reached the dais he said 'you (people) need a person who can walk fast not slowly like me."
"Atalji was pointing at me and people understood what he wanted and I won. In my next election, I did not ask any BJP leader to campaign for me. I even did not open election office and never campaigned after 6 pm," Mr Sharma said. He said Rajnathji has only carried forward Atalji's vision of development and that is why he is widely accepted.
The Lucknow constituency will got to polls on May 6 in the fifth phase.