As Election Moves Further East in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav Factor Makes Way In Phase Three
As the Lok Sabha elections move from west to east in the third phase in Uttar Pradesh, several seats are set to witness a ‘Yadav vs Yadav’ contest.
File photo of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav (PTI photo).
Lucknow: In Uttar Pradesh, where polling has been completed in the first two phases, the focus has now shifted on April 23 when 10 parliamentary constituencies will go to polls in the third phase. As the elections moves from west to east in the third phase, the Yadav factor comes into play in the Rohilkhand region and Etawah division of the state.
Even during the Modi wave of 2014, three out of 10 seats were won by the Samajwadi Party. This time, the SP is banking on further consolidation of Dalit-Yadav and Muslim votes in these seats.
The seats going for polls include Rampur, Moradabad, Sambhal, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Badaun, Aaonla, Bareilly and Pilibhit. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, except for Firozabad, Badaun and Mainpuri, all other seats were won by the BJP.
This time, the gathbandhan is relying on the consolidation of Yadav, Dalit and Muslim vote bank in these seats.
Moradabad, for instance, is witnessing a three-cornered contest where, political observers say, it will all whittle down to a direct fight between BJP and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance. The alliance partners have fielded ST Hasan against current BJP MP Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar Singh from this constituency.
In 2014, Sarvesh had defeated ST Hasan by a margin of 87,000 votes. Congress has fielded poet Imran Pratapgarhi from this seat.
During the Modi wave of 2014, the Sambhal Lok Sabha seat-- considered to be Muslim-dominated -- was won the BJP for the first time. The BJP’s Satyapal Saini had defeated SP’s Shafiqur Rehman Warq by a thin margin of around 5,000 votes. However, this time the party has fielded Parmeshwar Lal Saini, who is contesting against SP leader Shafiqur Rahman Barq.
The Rampur seat will witness a close contest between Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and BJP’s Jaya Prada. The former is currently under fire for his underwear jibe at Jaya Prada. In 2014, this seat was won by BJP candidate Nepal Singh.
Firozabad, also known as the city of bangles, will be witnessing a ‘Yadav vs Yadav’ contest as Shivpal Yadav takes on his nephew, Samajwadi Party candidate Akshay Yadav.
Shivpal formed his own political outfit Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) last year after not getting the ‘due respect’ in the Samajwadi Party. Recently, BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had campaigned for Akshay Yadav in Firozabad.
The Yadav bastion Mainpuri, which has stayed with the Yadav’s for more than two decades will be witnessing SP founder and patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav contesting his last elections.
In Etah, the BJP has chosen Rajvir, son of veteran BJP leader Kalyan Singh, to contest against Devendra Yadav of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance.
Badaun, which is again considered a Yadav bastion, was retained in 2014 by Samajwadi Party candidate and cousin of Akhilesh, Dharmendra Yadav. Dharmendra is contesting again this time, albeit with the backing of SP-BSP and RLD. Meanwhile, the saffron party has fielded Sanghmitra Maurya, daughter of senior leader Swami Prasad Maurya, while the Congress has fielded Salim Iqbal Sherwani from this seat.
In Aonla, which has been with the BJP for the last five terms, battle will be closely fought between BJP’s Dharmednra Kumar Kashyap and gathbandhan candidate Ruchi Veera. The Congress has fielded former MP Kunwar Sarvraj Singh from the seat.
In Bareilly, the BJP has once again shown trust in Santosh Gangwar who has been winning the parliamentary seat since 1989, barring one defeat in 2009. The SP-BSP alliance has fielded Bhagwat Sharan Gangwar and Congress has fielded Praveen Singh. The gathbadhan here is again banking on the caste arithmetic and hoping for a division in Kurmi votes and consolidation of Dalit and Muslim voters.
In the Pilibhit parliamentary seat, Varun Gandhi is pitted against former UP minister and Samajwadi Party leader Hemraj Verma. The alliance is trying to work on the consolidation of backward Lodha and Kurmi votes along with Muslim and Dalit votes.
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