Lucknow: The alliance partners Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal are all set to kick start their 11 joint rallies across state from April 7th 2019. The first joint rally of the alliance, chosen carefully after much groundwork, will be held in Deoband.
Deoband comes under Saharanpur Lok Sabha constituency, which was in limelight for caste-based clashes around two-years back.
Apart from this, Deoband is also known for its renowned Islamic seminary Darul Uloom. Apart from Deoband, Saharanpur, Saharanpur Dehat, Behat and Rampur Maniharan are the assembly seats which constitute Saharanpur Lok Sabha constituency. Interestingly, all the five seats were swept by BJP in the 2017 state assembly elections.
Speaking to the media, Samajwadi Party district president Meerut, Rajpal Singh had said, “The alliance is banking on a combination of Dalit, Muslims, OBCs and Jats in this region of the state. Deoband is certainly the best place to give out a larger message to everyone including Muslims, as many seminaries are located here.”
Two years ago, Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur had hit the headlines because of caste-based clashes between Dalits and Rajputs on the issue of a procession for Maharana Pratap. This incident also worked as the emergence of Bhim Army and its chief Chandra Shekhar Azad. Post the incident Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad who arrested and slapped with NSA.
During the violence, an Upper Caste boy was killed after which more than 50 houses of Dalits were torched. BSP Chief Mayawati had also visited the Shabbirpur village post the incident.
In the last Lok Sabha Elections, BJP’s Raghav Lakhanpal had won the Saharanpur seat by over 4.72 lakh votes while runner up spot was bagged by Congress candidate Imran Masood by bagging 4.07 lakh votes. The third spot was bagged by BSP candidate Jagdish Singh Rana with 2.35 lakh votes while SP’s Shahzan Masood had bagged around 52000 votes.
Recently, the Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad was visited by AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi at a hospital in Meerut. The closeness of Bhim Army Chief could swing votes of young Dalit voters in Congress’s favour strengthening the party’s candidate on this seat.