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BJP Banks on Family and Sympathy for Bypolls in Kairana and Noorpur

Deceased MP Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh is the BJP candidate from Kairana while Avani Singh, the wife of deceased MLA Lokendra Chauhan, will fight from Noorpur.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:May 8, 2018, 4:13 PM IST
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BJP Banks on Family and Sympathy for Bypolls in Kairana and Noorpur
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Shamli: The BJP on Tuesday announced its candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls to be held in Uttar Pradesh on May 28. For both seats, which were held by the BJP till February, the ruling party has up banked on family members of the deceased lawmakers.

Deceased MP Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh is the BJP candidate from Kairana while Avani Singh, the wife of deceased MLA Lokendra Chauhan, will fight from Noorpur.

The Kairana Lok Sabha seat had fallen vacant after the death of sitting BJP MP Hukum Singh in February. Jats and Gujjars are the two of the largest chunks of voters in Kairana. While BJP leaders are confident that Gujjar voters will stick with the BJP out of sympathy for deceased MP Hukum Singh, a Gujjar, the Jat voter could prove to be the kingmakers.

After losses in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls, BJP leaders don’t want to leave any stone unturned in Kairana.

Mriganka will be up against the member of another prominent political family from Western UP. Tabassum Hassan, mother of Samajwadi Party MLA Nahid Hassan, who had defeated Mriganka in the 2017 UP Assembly Elections from Kairana, is the joint candidate of the opposition parties and is contesting on a Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket.

Even before an official announcement was made, Mriganka had started positioning herself as the heir to her father’s political legacy.

In interviews and public appearances, she has claimed herself to be the inheritor of Hukum Singh’s controversial legacy. In 2016, Hukum Singh alleged that 250 Hindu families had fled Kairana in a “mass exodus” over the last few years due to “pressure from another community”. Singh went as far as to claim that Kairana was becoming “another Kashmir” with Hindu families fleeing.

“She is the strongest candidate for us. There are several merits to giving her a ticket. She will not only rope in the sympathy factor, but will also ensure that Gujjar voters, a key voting bloc in Kairana, stick with the BJP,” said a BJP leader on condition of anonymity.

In Noorpur, where the BJP’s Lokendra Singh Chauhan won in both 2012 and 2017, BJP is facing a tough challenge with the BSP sitting out and possibly transferring its vote to the SP. Here, too, the ruling party will apply the same strategy. The seat fell vacant in February after Chauhan died in a road accident in Sitapur. “Here, the strongest candidate is Lokendra Chauhan’s wife Avani Singh. She is a winnable candidate and has support among Noorpur’s dominant Rajput community,” a BJP leader said.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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