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SP vs SP in Deoband? UP Polls See Double Trouble as 2 Workers File Nomination from 1 Seat, Feud Online

SP leaders Maviya Ali and Kartikeya Rane have also been fighting each other online. (Image: News18 Hindi)

SP leaders Maviya Ali and Kartikeya Rane have also been fighting each other online. (Image: News18 Hindi)

Former MLA and SP leader Maviya Ali surprised everyone by filing his nomination from the SP symbol in Deoband, where a similar nomination was filed 5 days ago too.

Will the Samajwadi Party contest itself in the minority foothold of Uttar Pradesh’s Deoband? The UP elections took an interesting turn as two leaders have now filed their nomination in the party’s symbol from the constituency in Saharanpur.

On the last day of filing nominations, former MLA and SP leader Maviya Ali, from Deoband, surprised everyone by filing his nomination from the symbol of the Samajwadi Party. However, just five days ago, Kartikeya Rana, son of late former Minister Rajendra Rana, had already filed his nomination on the party’s symbol from Deoband, as well.

Ali said the party had given him its symbol, which is why he had filed the nomination.

The two leaders have also been feuding on social media for several days now. While Avi said his ticket from Deoband had been finalised, Kartikeya asked people to ‘avoid rumours’, and maintained the ticket would remain with him.

As the situation heats up, it will remain to be seen which leader withdraws his nomination as an SP candidate from the constituency, failing which both their nominations would get cancelled.

Jagpal Das Gurjar, the state vice-president of the Samajwadi Party, who arrived with Maviya Ali to file the nomination, said he had been declared a candidate from Deoband as per the instructions of party supremo Akhilesh Yadav.

Gurjar rejected claims of factionalism within the party in the face of the contending claims between the party workers.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is set to visit Deoband on Saturday to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Known in political circles as the ‘centre of minority politics’, the constituency is known for the famous Islamic seminary Darool ulum Deoband, and has around 3 lakh voters, of whom around 1.25 lakh are Muslims.

Among Hindus, Deoband has a strong presence of Gurjar and other OBC sections, barring Jats.

Deoband is one of the seven constituencies of Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh. In 2017, BJP won four out of seven of these seats, including Deoband. Two were won by the Congress, and one by the Samajwadi Party.

For the BJP, which faces the ‘Jat challenge’ in other parts of western UP like Muzzafarnagar, Shamli and Bagpat, Saharanpur therefore assumes great importance. Through Shah, BJP will not just hope of retaining the Deoband seat, but will also aim for influencing the nearby constituencies. Before 2017, BJP had last won Deoband only in 1996.

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