The bypoll for the Azamgarh parliamentary seat in Uttar Pradesh has got interesting with cleric Aamir Rashadi Madni’s political outfit Rashtriya Ulama Council extending support to Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Shah Alam, aka Guddu Jamali. Observers say the Samajwadi Party may find it difficult to retain the seat with the contest getting triangular as the Bharatiya Janata Party has once again fielded Bhojpuri singer Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ to take on the SP’s Dharmendra Yadav.
After getting the RUC’s backing, Jamali has claimed that now his victory is certain. The main reason behind this is said to be the clout that the Rashtriya Ulama Council enjoys in the Sadar, Mubarakpur, and Gopalpur assembly seats that are part of the Azamgarh parliamentary constituency. In the 2017 UP assembly elections, the BSP was successful in winning four seats with the support of the Rashtriya Ulama Council.
The voting for the Lok Sabha bypoll in Azamgarh district will be held on June 23, and all the political parties in the contest have been pushing hard for a win. Two days ago, SP’s founding member and former MLA Ram Darshan Yadav joined the BJP.
RUC spokesperson Talha Rashadi has said, “It is a collective decision that we will support the one who has stood by the people of the district in their difficult times. It was a demand of the people of the district that Guddu Jamali ji should be supported, because he has proved himself. The Rashtriya Ulama Council has decided that Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali will be supported. At the same time, an attempt was being made to spread confusion among the people of Azamgarh. I think after this support today, this confusion will end.”
The RUC’s announcement, say analysts, is almost certain to dent the SP’s trusted Muslim-Yadav combination. Apart from Guddu Jamali, another reason for this is said to be the switch by Ram Darshan Yadav to the BJP, as he is believed to have a lot of influence in the Mubarakpur assembly seat of Azamgarh.
Speaking to the media after getting the support of the Rashtriya Ulama Council on Monday, Jamali said, “I am confident now that this is a certificate of my victory. The people of the opposition were creating confusion from day one. If you go to our Muslim brothers, they say that Dalits are not voting, so why are you spoiling your vote by voting for them. Whereas the ground reality is completely different.”
Samajwadi Party leader and former minister Ramasre Vishwakarma though has claimed that all the secular parties are supporting and campaigning to make SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav victorious. “The Samajwadi Party has the support of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, Janwadi Party, Suheldev Party, and Congress party. All the parties that are against the Bharatiya Janata Party are in favour of the Samajwadi Party and SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav will win with huge votes,” he said.
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