Acharya Pramod had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha poll on a Congress ticket from Sambhal in 2014.
Many believe Rajnath Singh’s re-election from Lucknow may not be too difficult as more than four lakh Brahmins and two lakh from the Thakur community have stood rock-solid behind BJP over last two decades since former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s election. Pramod has been a vocal critic of the Modi government on social media, often accusing BJP of communalism.
The head priest of Kalki Dham ashram in Sambhal, Krishnam said while Rajnath is his main rival, Poonam is an also-ran. It does not matter if she’s a Congress candidate’s wife, he said. “Rajnath Singh mere samne mahcli ki aankh ki tarah hai.
I don’t view voters as Kayasthas or Brahmins. I am not caring about vote split. As far as Poonam ji is concerned, it doesn’t matter. SP deceived Poonam by fielding her as she is a weak candidate. Lucknow election will be a Mahabharat and Poonam Ji doesn’t figure in it,” Acharya told TOI over the phone.
He had stirred a row in 2016 after he chaired a probe panel and submitted a report, which denied exodus of Hindus in Kairana. He had called it a dangerous conspiracy by the government. The party also fielded Vinay Kumar Pandey from Kaiserganj. With this announcement, Congress has yet again indicated it would not make any seat a pushover for the SP-BSP combine except seven seats where Congress president Raj Babbar announced not to contest against the gatbandhan. This included seats where SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav clan’s family members and RLD candidates are contesting, which are Kannauj, Mainpuri, Azamgarh, Mathura, Baghpat, Firozabad, and Muzaffarnagar.