Tough fight for Cong ministers in UP

 As many as six Congress ministers are involved in what is being billed as the toughest fight of their political life in different corners of Uttar Pradesh in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, while their party is engaged in a “do or die” electoral battle.

That these ministers had a tough contest at their hands could be gauged from the fact that none of them has been able to spare time to campaign on the other seats other than their own Lok Sabha constituencies.

Three-time sitting MP and Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal is locked in a fierce battle with senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi for Kanpur seat. In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Jaiswal had scraped through by only 15,000 votes. Though he is said to wield a considerable influence on the Vaishya and Muslim communities, this time he is grappling with discontent among the people against the UPA government owing to inflation and lack of development in the area.

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid is embroiled in a tough contest for Farrukhabad seat with BJP’s Mukesh Rajput and Samajwadi Party’s Rameshwar Yadav. Senior Congress leader and Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma finds himself cornered by his old friend turned enemy and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in Gonda.

The SP has fielded a Brahmin while the BJP has nominated a powerful Thakur leader against him. Verma had managed to win by a margin of 23,000 votes last time.

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