In an apparent bid to corner BJP chief Rajnath Singh who is contesting from Lucknow, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Thursday replaced their candidate with UP minister and young leader Abhishek Mishra.
Mishra, a former IIM professor, had stunned the BJP when he had wrested the Lucknow north Assembly seat from it in the 2012 Assembly elections. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav rewarded Mishra with a ministerial berth.
Till then a BJP strong hold, the constituency was represented by senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon.
Mishra, a brahmin, was expected to cut into the brahmin vote bank of the BJP. “Mishra can prove to be a formidable opponent as he has good support base among the youths in the city,” said SP leaders here.
The SP had earlier fielded senior party leader Ashok Bajpai from the seat. Bajpai had already started campaigning.