Rae Bareli, Apr 26:
A small stretch of seven intertwined parliamentary constituencies spread across the Uttar Pradesh’s Awadh region is in focus for high profile contests featuring country’s top women politicians in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Two members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi, are contesting from Rae Bareli and Sultanpur respectively.
Poonam Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, has been fielded by the Samajwadi Party as the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate from Lucknow against Union home minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh.
n Unnao, former Congress MP Annu Tandon is challenging BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj.
Former Congress MP Rajkumari Ratna Singh and firebrand Uttar Pradesh minister for women and child welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi are also in poll fray as Congress and BJP candidates from Pratapgarh and Allahabad Lok Sabha seats respectively.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who is seeking re-election to Lok Sabha for the fifth term (fourth time from Rae Bareli), is contesting from the seat that was once represented by her mother-in-law and former prime minister late Indira Gandhi.
Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi, also the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, is seeking re-election as a BJP candidate from Sultanpur, the seat currently represented by her son Varun Gandhi in Lok Sabha.
Maneka has swapped her Pilibhit seat with Varun in this election.
Union minister for textiles Smriti Irani has been fielded by the BJP from Amethi seat against Rahul Gandhi.
Irani has been targeting Rahul for neglecting his parliamentary constituency over the years.
A three-term MP, Rajkumari Ratna Singh, is the Congress candidate contesting for the fourth time from Pratapgarh Lok Sabha seat.
She is the daughter of late Raja Dinesh Pratap Singh of Kalakankar who worked closely with Indira Gandhi and served as minister in the Congress governments led by late Indira Gandhi and late PV Narasimha Rao.
UP minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi is contesting the election from Allahabad Lok Sabha seat.
In the past, she has worked closely with Sonia and Rahul as UP Congress president.