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Pilibhit Lok Sabha elections: BJP’s big bet on Jitin Prasada who replaced Varun Gandhi, SP fields Gangwar

Hot seats in Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency has been so far a symbolic seat for the Bhartiya Janata Party represented by another Gandhi family against Congress in Uttar Pradesh.

Raju Kumar Written By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Pilibhit Updated on: April 19, 2024 12:54 IST
Pilibhit Lok Sabha elections
Image Source : INDIA TV/X Pilibhit Lok Sabha elections

Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat, one of 80 high-profile seats in Uttar Pradesh, saw a drastic change for the first time since 1989 as no member of another Gandhi family - Varun Gandhi or Maneka was in the fray. On March 27 - the last day of nomination for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024 - Bharatiya Janata Party's Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi did not turn up to file nominations for the seat, putting at rest speculation that he might enter the fray as an independent candidate after the party denied him a ticket. 

In a big move, the ruling BJP fielded Jitin Prasada - a former Congress leader who switched sides in 2021 - replacing Varun - son of Maneka Gandhi and late Sanjay Gandhi. 

Prasada filed his nomination papers from the Pilibhit seat on March 27 in the presence of his ministerial colleague Swatantra Dev Singh and party state president Bhupendra Chaudhary.

However, the denial of ticket to Varun Gandhi this time did not come as a surprise as he has been criticising the BJP on the issues of farmers, health and jobs.

His mother Maneka Gandhi, the sitting MP from Sultanpur, was, however, given another chance from the same seat by the BJP.

Pilibhit seat has remained with mother-son duo

The Pilibhit seat has remained with Maneka Gandhi or her son Varun Gandhi since 1996. Maneka Gandhi won the seat on a Janata Dal ticket in 1989, lost in 1991 and won again in 1996. She won from the constituency in 1998 and 1999 as an Independent candidate. She won the seat in 2004 and 2014 as a BJP candidate. Varun Gandhi won the seat in 2009 and 2019 as a BJP candidate.

Pilibhit candidates in Lok Sabha elections 2024 

The BJP batted for turncoat Prasada, while Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party fielded Anis Ahmad Khan as its nominee from the constituency. The main opposition, the Samajwadi Party, has made Bhagwat Saran Gangwar its candidate from Pilibhit. SP will get the support of Congress as part of I.N.D.I.A bloc seat-sharing deal

Varun Gandhi pens note for people of Pilibhit

On March 28, denied a ticket from Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat, the sitting BJP MP Varun Gandhi wrote an emotional letter to the people of his constituency, highlighting his bonding with the people of the region. He asserted that his relationship with them would remain intact till his last breath.

Sharing the letter on X, he said, his relationship with Pilibhit is one of love and trust which is far above any political calculations.

Recounting his association with the constituency, he said "Today, when I am writing this letter, countless memories have made me emotional. I remember that little three-year-old child who came to Pilibhit for the first time in 1983 holding the fingers of his mother. Little did he know that one day this land would become his work place and the people here would become his family".

The Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency

The constituency consists of 5 assembly seats - Baheri, Pilibhit, Barkhera, Puranpur (SC) and  Bisalpur. Out of five, four belong to the BJP.

Date of voting

The people of Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency will vote on April 19 as part of the first phase of polling. 

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: Belgaum Lok Sabha Election 2024: BJP's Jagadish Shettar to face Congress' Mrunal Ravindra Hebbalkar



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