Prayagraj, Apr 7 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Kesari Devi Patel from Phulpur parliamentary constituency keeping numbers of Patel community in consideration.
BJP has played dual card by fielding Kesari Patel as Patel community has dominance in the area and a woman contestant will enhance numbers of women voters. Congress has fielded Pankaj Niranjan, son-in-law of Apna Dal president Krishna Patel.
Kesari Devi had stated her political career with BJP and was elected vice president of district Panchayat in 1995, then she became president in 1998.
She joined Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 2004 and contested for MP from Phulpur LS seat, but she was defeated by Samajwadi party (SP) leader Atiq Ahmad.
Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was succeeded to bag victory for first time after independence from this seat but SP candidate Nagendra Singh Patel changed equations by winning seat in by-poll elections when Mr Maurya left it to join state cabinet.
First Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru recorded three consecutive victories from Phulpur seat in 1952, 1957 and 1962 after independence which enhanced importance of this parliamentary seat.
Vijay Lakshmi Pandit, sister of Jawahar Lal bagged the seat in 1967 and last time Congress won the seat in 1984 when Ram Pujan Patel won.
In following years SP clutched this seat when Jang Bahadur Patel won in 1996, Dharm Singh Patel in 1999, Atiq Ahmad in 2004 and Nagendra Singh Patel in 2018. For a short time BJP has the seat in 2014 but lost it again in 2018 by-polls. (UNI)