One of the few seats in the state of Uttar Pradesh where the Congress party is said to still have a base, Unnao witnessed a fight between Congress candidate Annu Tandon against BJP's sitting Member of Parliament Sakshi Maharaj. Also in the poll fray is SP-BSP-RLD joint candidate Arun Shankar Shukla or Anna Maharaj.
BJP's sitting Member of Parliament Sakshi Maharaj wins by a margin of 400956 votes Congress candidate Annu Tandon, SP-BSP-RLD joint candidate Arun Shankar Shukla or Anna Maharaj comes second.
While in 2009 Tandon had won by a margin of over 3 lakh votes, in 2014, she dropped down to fourth position. BJP has not won the seat since 2004 and it was only during the Modi wave that Sakshi Maharaj registered a victory with a margin of around 3 lakh votes against Shukla (then SP candidate) who came second.
In one of the major poll controversies, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi party fielded Pooja Pal, a BSP MLA who was earlier expelled from the party by its supremo Mayawati. She then joined SP. However, the party withdrew her candidacy and fielded Anna Maharaj instead.
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As per sources there was opposition from within the Samajwadi party against Pal's candidacy as she was an ‘outsider’ for the seat. Anna, on the other hand contested from the seat in the year two times - 2009 on BSP ticket and 2014 on SP ticket. He was unable to register a win both the times.
Another controversy this poll season was stoked by Maharaj wherein he had said that he will work only for those who vote for him. "If you ensure my victory, I will work for you, otherwise do 'bhajan-kirtan' in a temple. I am a 'sanyasi'. When a 'sanyasi' comes to your door and asks for 'bhiksha' (alms), and is not heard, he takes away all the happiness of the family and transfers his sins onto them. I am quoting from sacred scriptures. I am not asking for money or land. I am here to seek votes with which fate of Indians will be changed," he had said at an election meeting at Sheshpur village in Sihramau area on April 12
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