Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid was locked in a three-way electoral contest from his traditional constituency of Farrukhabad where he faced the challenge of overcoming the "Modi factor" and outsmarting the SP-BSP-RLD coalition in capturing the anti-BJP vote.
The opponents of Khurshid, a former Union minister who has held portfolios of external affairs, law and minorities, may not have had his profile, but BJP's sitting MP Mukesh Rajput and BSP's Manoj Agarwal made it a pitched contest for the seat.
BJP's sitting MP Mukesh Rajput wins from the constituency while Congress' Salman Khurshid receives only 55143 votes. BSP's Manoj Agarwal comes second.
In 2014, BJP's Mukesh Rajput had defeated Samajwadi Party's Rameshwar Singh Yadav and BSP's Jaiveer Singh who had secured second and third position respectively. Salman Khurshid, who was the incumbent Minister of External Affairs, lost badly and could only poll 95,000 votes out of total 9.7 lakh votes. The BJP had a history of winning the seat, with Sakshi Maharaj, the current MP from Unnao, winning from the seat in the 1996 and 1998 elections.
In perhaps the biggest election controversy from the constituency, Khurshid took up the issue of the Batla House encounter wherein he dared Yogi Adityanath to debate with him when the Uttar Pradesh CM raised the issue to attack the Congress.
"Whom does Yogi want to fight? I am happy Yogi wants to debate with me. I want to tell him that he can debate about the matter anywhere with me, even in a Gaushala. To know if the cow supports him or not," Khurshid had said.
This came after UP CM Yogi Adityanath during his campaign rally in Farrukhabad questioned Khurshid's infamous remark that Sonia Gandhi had shed tears on hearing of the encounter. "One should question as to why the Congress’s Farrukhabad candidate Salman Khurshid went to defend the Batla house terrorists,” Adityanath had said.
In another major controversy, Khurshid used the Opposition’s famous ‘Choor Choor remark” against the BSP-SP alliance. Calling the Lok Sabha elections a direct contest between BJP and Congress he said in an election rally, "We will fight against Modi, and I declare that whosever will interfere in the fight between me and Modi, or will try to stop me, whether he be from Gathbandhan or from BSP (Haathi), I will attack them and will break them into pieces”, he said while addressing the rally.