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Outsider vs Local Debate Heats up in Kannauj as BJP Fields Ex-IPS Asim Arun Against SP’s Anil Dohre

By: Qazi Faraz Ahmad

News18

Last Updated: February 11, 2022, 07:40 IST

The point of interest for all the parties is the Kannauj Sadar seat where former IPS Asim Arun (L) has been fielded by the BJP against SP’s Anil Dohre (R). (News18)

The point of interest for all the parties is the Kannauj Sadar seat where former IPS Asim Arun (L) has been fielded by the BJP against SP’s Anil Dohre (R). (News18)

In Kannauj, the BJP has fielded former IPS Asim Arun against Samajwadi Party’s three-time incumbent MLA Anil Dohre.

The perfume capital of India Kannauj, which was in the spotlight recently for the raids conducted by the GST department on a perfumery businessman in the city, is making news again, this time for a power-packed poll contest. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded former IPS Asim Arun against Samajwadi Party’s three-time incumbent MLA Anil Dohre in this UP city.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also set to visit Kannauj on February 12 to address a gathering in the Tirwa assembly. At the moment, there are three assembly constituencies in the city — Tirwa, Chhibramau and Kannauj Sadar — of which only Kannauj Sadar was with the SP. The other two constituencies were with the BJP.

The point of interest for all the parties, meanwhile, is the Kannauj Sadar seat where former IPS Asim Arun has been fielded by the BJP against SP’s Anil Dohre.

The Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded Samarjeet Singh Dohre and the Congress has fielded Vineeta Devi. The Kannauj Sadar seat houses 427488 registered voters, of which 2,27,928 are males and 1,99,547 are females. There are 13 third gender voters and 7,839 new voters have also been added to the list.

The incumbent MLA from Samajwadi Party, Anil Dohre, has termed the BJP candidate an ‘outsider’ and has said that people of Kannauj will prefer a local candidate any day. However, BJP’s Asim Arun has made it clear that he is not from outside, has a house in Kannauj and has been involved in social work in the city for many years.

The three-time SP MLA from Kannauj Sadar, who is known for getting along well with the locals, while speaking to News18 on Wednesday at the SP office in Kannauj, said that people are fed up with the BJP government and are waiting to remove it from power.

“All the development work in Kannauj was done during the Samajwadi Party government. The BJP government in the state has just taken credit for work done during the SP government. It seems that BJP doesn’t believe in the local people of Kannauj now and that is why it has brought a candidate from outside. People of Kannauj know very well to choose between a local and an outsider. He {Asim Arun) doesn’t seem to be even in the race this time,” said Dohre as he garlanded some local leaders from other parties who were joining SP along with their supporters.

Speaking on the issue of recent raids on perfumery businessmen in Kannauj, Dohre said, “The recent raids were conducted at the premises of Piyush Jain, a businessman who was connected to the BJP, instead of raiding the premises of SP MLC Pushpraj Jain. The BJP first wrongly claimed that Piyush Jain was connected to SP and when the truth came out, the authorities conducted a raid at Pushpraj Jain’s premises out of frustration.”

“However, nothing was recovered from the raid. The raids on perfumery businessmen have created an environment of fear and anger in the business community. The SP government was making a perfumery park in Kannauj but the BJP government stalled that work,” he added.

The Kannauj Sadar seat (reserved) roughly houses around 71,000 Dalits, 66,000 Muslims, 41,000 Brahmins, 37,000 Yadavs, 12,000 Thakurs along with 62,000 Non Yadav OBCs. Here, the BJP may be eyeing the upper caste plus non-Yadav OBCs, while the SP will be looking to consolidate Yadav and Muslims. The swing factor on this seat may lie with the Dalit voters.

The former IPS officer Asim Arun, while speaking to News18 in Kannauj on Wednesday on the issue of changeover from an IPS officer to a politician, said, “Things might have changed but what has not changed is the basic principle of equality, commitment and good behaviour. The biggest difference between politics and a police job is that police department is where salary is given for the work and we give orders for certain tasks to be done. But in politics, one doesn’t get any salary. We work voluntarily and here orders are not given and, instead, requests are made. I am still learning a lot.”

“I have always been telling people that the police officer inside me is left behind in Kanpur and now Asim Arun is a local guy from Kannauj. People will take some time to realise that I am no more a police officer and a public representative. Initially, a few people would address me as ‘commissioner saab’ but I would tell them that ‘commissioner saab’ has been left back in Kanpur, I am your Asim,” added the former Commissioner of Kanpur Police.

Speaking on the issues that he will be taking to the people of Kannauj, Asim Arun said, “We were mainly taking points like safety, respect and development to the people of Kannauj. Now when we have our Sankalp Patra, we have a lot more points to be taken among the public. People of Kannauj will ensure all round development in the BJP government.”

Reacting on the issue of being termed as an ‘outsider’ by opposition parties, Asim Arun said, “I am not an outsider, my village comes under Thathiya in Kannauj and I along with my father and wife have also been involved in social work. It is right that our social area was limited to Khairnagar till now but now when I have taken VRS, the entire Kannauj is my workplace.”

“I don’t see any challenge here in Kannauj from any opposition party because the phenomenal work done by Narendra Modi ji and Yogi Adityanath is speaking for itself,” Asim Arun said, adding that the farmers are also happy as now the “Kisan Samman Nidhi will be doubled for poor and marginalised farmers”.

“At a point when other political parties are making hollow promises, it is only BJP which has delivered the promises made in the Sankalp Patra. PM Modi’s visit is scheduled in Tirwa on February 12 and it is my good luck that our PM is coming here to campaign for us. People of Kannauj are excited to listen to PM Modi’s speech,” said Asim Arun before he left to address a gathering along with Kannauj BJP MP Subrat Pathak.

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first published:February 11, 2022, 07:40 IST
last updated:February 11, 2022, 07:40 IST