Lucknow, April 23: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday declared Shalini Yadav as its candidate from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. Shalini Yadav, daughter-in-law of former Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson Shyam Lal Yadav, will contest Lok Sabha polls against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Shalini Yadav's candidature was announced hours after she switched over to the SP from the Congress. In Uttar Pradesh, the SP, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) are contesting polls in an alliance.
Shalini had unsuccessfully contested the mayoral election of Varanasi Municipal Corporation in 2017 on Congress's ticket. She had lost the polls to BJP's Mridula Jaiswal by a margin of over 78,000 votes. Her father-in-law, Shyam Lal Yadav, was a senior Congress leader and had represented Varanasi in the Parliament. He served as deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha from 1982-84 and union minister in 1988-89. Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Samajwadi Party Fields Pandhari Yadav from Phulpur Constituency.
Shalini married to Arun Yadav in 1995. In 2009, she took over as the editor and publisher of a Hindi daily owned by the family. Varanasi Lok Sabha seat will go to polls on May 19 in the seventh phase of general elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced that PM Modi would contest from Varanasi, while the Congress is still looking for a suitable candidate. There has been some speculation of late that Priyanka Gandhi may contest from Varanasi. No Decision Yet on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Contesting from Varanasi, Says Congress Leader Rajeev Shukla.
"I am ready to contest and will contest from Varanasi if Rahul Gandhi asks me," said Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Narendra Modi won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat by defeating Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal by a massive margin of 3.37 lakh votes. Modi received 5,16,593 votes-- about half of the total votes, while Kejriwal secured 1,79,739 votes.