BJP's candidate in Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi has gained an advantage in the Lok Sabha elections 2019 against Samajwadi Party candidate Hemraj Verma, according to the early trends. If Varun Gandhi manages to win from Pilibhit, it won't be his first victory from the constituency. Back in 2009, BJP had fielded Varun Gandhi as its candidate from Pilibhit constituency instead of his mother Menaka Gandhi. Varun Gandhi had won it by receiving 4,19,539 votes, defeating his closest opponent V.M. Singh of Indian National Congress (INC) by 2,81,501 votes.
Pilibhit has been a stronghold of Maneka Gandhi and since 1989 she has won this seat by contesting on the tickets of different parties or independently. In 2004, Maneka Gandhi won the seat on BJP's ticket for the first time.
Varun Gandhi had first won the Pilibhit parliamentary seat in 2009 after his mother vacated the seat for him. It was during this time that Varun Gandhi emerged as a firebrand Hindutva leader. He even had to spend 19 days in jail for giving an inflammatory speech. In 2014, Varun Gandhi shifted and won from Sultanpur, a constituency which neighbours Amethi, Congress' citadel.
In 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi had swapped their seats with Varun Gandhi contesting from where her mother Maneka Gandhi won in 2014. Maneka Gandhi is the sitting lawmaker of Pilibhit. In 2014, she won with a 52 per cent vote share.
The 43-year-old Hemraj Verma was the Food and Civil Supplies Minister under the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh. In the 2012 assembly elections, Verma had won from Barkhera assembly constituency.
Being a rural constituency, some of the biggest poll issues in Pilibhit were related to development and electrification. Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency represents five Vidhan Sabha sections out of which one is reserved for SC category.