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Did The 'Ateeq Factor' Fail to Dent Samajwadi Party's Vote Share?

Currently lodged in Deoria jail, Ahmed's influence in the rural belt is limited, he holds considerable sway among Muslims in the Allahabad West area. The SP, however, seems to have offset losses, if any, from Ahmed since its new alliance partner, the BSP, seems to have transferred its entire vote share to the SP candidate.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:March 14, 2018, 2:24 PM IST
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Did The 'Ateeq Factor' Fail to Dent Samajwadi Party's Vote Share?
File photo of Ateeq Ahmed.
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Allahabad/New Delhi: The results for the Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur may spring a major surprise with the Samajwadi Party surging ahead of the BJP in both the seats.

In Phulpur, the historic seat once represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, BJP sources had said they were banking on don-turned politician Ateeq Ahmed cutting into the SP’s vote share and therefore, helping the BJP.

In view of the SP-BSP alliance, with cadres of both parties working in sync with each other, BJP sources said that they were wary of the Dalit vote going to the SP and said that they are expecting at least 50% of the SC vote to shift.

Given the attrition of Dalit voters, the BJP was hopeful that the Muslim voters of Phulpur would end up voting for Ahmed instead of SP candidate Nagendra Patel.

Ateeq Ahmed has had two separate stints in the Samajwadi Party. In 2008, he was expelled from the SP after criminal allegations against him were mounting. He attempted to get a BSP ticket for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, however, BSP Chief Maywati turned him down.

He fought the 2012 UP Assembly Elections from his stronghold in Allahabad (West) on an Apna Dal ticket and then in 2014, he was taken back into the SP and unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Shrawasti. However, his second stint in the SP also did not last long.

Currently lodged in Deoria jail, Ahmed fought the election as an Independent candidate from behind bars. There are 2.5 lakh Muslim voters in the Phulpur constituency. While Ahmed's influence in the rural belt is limited, he holds considerable sway among Muslims in the Allahabad West area. The SP, however, seems to have offset losses, if any, from Ahmed since its new alliance partner, the BSP, seems to have transferred its entire vote share to the SP candidate.


| Edited by: Puja Menon
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