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In Kairana and Noorpur Bypolls, BJP May Bank on Family to Retain Seats

Deceased Kairana MP Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh is the frontrunner to get the BJP ticket from her father’s constituency while Avani Singh, the wife of late MLA Lokendra Chauhan, may fight from Noorpur.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:May 2, 2018, 7:48 AM IST
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In Kairana and Noorpur Bypolls, BJP May Bank on Family to Retain Seats
Representative image (PTI)
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Noida: On Thursday, the Election Commission announced that the bypolls to the Kairana Lok Sabha seat and the Noorpur Assembly Constituency will be held on May 28 and counting of votes will take place on May 31.

For both seats, which were held by the BJP until February, the ruling party may end up banking on family members of the deceased lawmakers to ensure victory. Deceased Kairana MP Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh is the frontrunner to get the BJP ticket from her father’s constituency while Avani Singh, the wife of late MLA Lokendra Chauhan, may fight from Noorpur.

The Kairana Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the death of Hukum Singh in February. Jats and Gujjars are the two of the largest voter base in the constituency. While BJP leaders are confident that Gujjar voters will stick with the BJP out of sympathy, the Jat voter could prove to be the kingmakers of Kairana. After losses in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls, BJP leaders don’t want to leave any stone unturned in Kairana.

While an official announcement is yet to be made, Mriganka has already started positioning herself as the next in line. In interviews and public appearances, she has claimed herself to be the inheritor of Hukum Singh’s controversial legacy. In 2016, the BJP MP 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. During the 2017 UP Assembly Elections, which the BJP won with a thumping majority, Mriganka contested on a BJP ticket from the Kairana Assembly segment and lost to Samajwadi Party’s Nahid Hassan.

“She seems to be the strongest candidate for us. While the final decision rests with the central leadership of the party, 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 party,” said a BJP leader on condition of anonymity.

In Noorpur, where 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 ‘family’ strategy. The seat fell vacant in February after Chauhan died in a road accident in Sitapur. “As of now, the strongest candidate seems to be 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: Aditya Nair
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