Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed a clean sweep in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, there was one contest that had everyone hooked till late evening — battle of Sirathu.
In this constituency, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was defeated by first-timer Pallavi Patel of Apna Dal (Kameravadi) faction, who was fighting on Samajwadi Party (SP) symbol.
Patel’s win is a big loss for the BJP, as the incumbent deputy CM was contesting from this seat. Patel won this seat by 7,337 votes, bagging 1,05,559 votes, compared to Maurya’s 98,727.
A total of 18 candidates were in the fray.
Earlier on Thursday, during the counting of votes, there was a moment when Patel was leading by a few thousand votes and the counting had to be halted for some time. Soon after, Patel reached the centre, after which the counting was resumed and she emerged victorious.
Patel is the national vice-president of Apna Dal (Kameravadi) and sister of Anupriya Patel from Apna Dal (S) faction, a BJP ally. Patel’s in-laws have a house in Koripur of Manjhanpur assembly of Kaushambi.
It was believed that winning will not be easy, as Patel was contesting against a BJP stalwart. However, she proved all predictions and pollsters wrong.
Pallavi Patel is the elder daughter of Apna Dal’s national president, the late Sonelal Patel. After the death of the father, a dispute with Anupriya split the party. Patel, along with her mother Krushna, formed Apna Dal (Kameravadi), while Anupriya and her husband formed Apna Dal (S).
Anupriya’s faction had managed to win this seat in 2017.
During the election campaigning, clashes took place between supporters of SP and BJP in many villages in this constituency.
Patel maintained that she is the daughter-in-law of Sirathu and raised issues such as inflation and unemployment. People close to her reveal that she focussed more on women voters and also raised the issue of stray animals.
Big names such as SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, his wife and former SP MP Dimple Yadav, along with SP Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan, campaigned for Patel.
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