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The phase-1 of Lok Sabha 2019 is underway for 91 constituencies in 20 states and Union Territories going to polls today. With eight seats of western Uttar Pradesh up for grabs, Union Minister of State for Culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma interacted with reporters where BJP is facing a tough contest in all the seats due to the alliance of Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal. The Congress is also likely to split votes of both the BJP and the combined alliance.
"The competition has now decreased with 5,68,000 new voters registered in this state for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The focal point of the Gathbandhan was Congress and yet they are nowhere in the competition. So I would like to say to people who are contesting for 72 seats, they are not playing in a level field. Winning and losing is not a point of debate at all. Against them, standing tall like the Himalayas is Narendra Modi and a party like BJP which has such a glorious history. This party and this politician (Modi) has worked wonders in five years - the borders are secure, 132 crore people now have the dream for development and most importantly, the pride of India is at its peak." he said.
On being asked about how he felt that a village called Dalelpur in Gautam Buddha Nagar (Dr. Mahesh Sharma's constituency) have boycotted the polls because he has never visited them, he said that their concern was genuine and would be remedied.
"Their concerns are genuine. But there are 186 villages in this district with a square area of 135 sq.km. If the village is 7 km away from the polling station, as you say, this will be taken in cognizance and will be brought as per rule that there should be a poll booth within 5km of the village. I have been to Dalelgadh. If I got 50% votes last time, this time I will get 65% of the votes.", said Dr.Sharma
When asked about why he feels that he will garner more votes than the previous Lok Sabha polls, he said that it is due to lesser competition from the Opposition.
"What is this bird called Mahagathbandhan whose focal point was Congress which has now been thrown out of it? And the' bua-bhatija' (Aunt-nephew - referring to Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav) whom you are talking about - she is not even contesting for a single seat and she wants to be PM? The nephew who is with her is fighting in only 35 seats. These people who are contesting for only 72 seats, what will happen to them? Nationalism is our principle, faith and destiny. For them it is reversed. First comes family, then caste, then nation. For us, it is the nation, party then ourselves.", said Dr. Sharma.
Apart from being the Union Minister of State for Culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma who is the BJP candidate contesting for the Gautam Buddha Nagar seat in eastern Uttar Pradesh in phase-1, is also a physician by profession and owns the Kailash Group of Hospitals based in Noida.
He is also the current Lok Sabha member from Gautam Budhha nagar where he won 50% of the votes in Lok Sabha elections 2014.
The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. The results of the Lok Sabha polls will also be declared on May 23.
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.