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UP Bypolls: Azad's Bhim Army May Dent BSP’s Vote Bank in Bulandshahr Sadar, Give BJP Edge in Dalit Seat

File photo: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad at a protest in New Delhi on Friday. (AFP)

File photo: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad at a protest in New Delhi on Friday. (AFP)

While Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party has given ticket to Mohammad Yunus, the Azad Samaj Party has fielded Haji Yamin, a potent minority vote-puller. Meanwhile, Usha Sirohi, the wife of former BJP MLA Virendra Singh Sirohi, is contesting for the saffron party and Sushil Chaudhary for the Congress.

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Qazi Faraz Ahmad

In Uttar Pradesh, the Bulandshahr (Sadar) assembly by-poll is set to decide the future course of Dalit politics as Chandra Shekhar Azad’s prominence in the region may hamper BSP’s traditional vote-bank. The by-elections saw a total of 18 candidates in fray, along with five independents, from Bulandshahr Sadar seat.

While Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party has given ticket to Mohammad Yunus, the Azad Samaj Party has fielded Haji Yamin, a potent minority vote-puller. Meanwhile, Usha Sirohi, the wife of former BJP MLA Virendra Singh Sirohi, is contesting for the saffron party and Sushil Chaudhary for the Congress.

Meanwhile, RLD had fielded Praveen Singh with the support of the Samajwadi Party. The Azad Samaj Party had fielded Haji Yamin who is not just attracting minority voters but is also looking to emerge as an alternative to the BSP's candidate. This time, 18 candidates were in the fray, along with five independents from Bulandshahr Sadar seat.

In the last assembly elections in 2017, late MLA Haji Alim was defeated by BJP’s late MLA Virender Sirohi, who won with 23,084 votes. The Samajwadi Party candidate, Shujat Alam, had bagged the third place with 24,030 votes.

Meanwhile, Azad and his Bhim Army's fierce presence and the ASP’s decision to field a Muslim candidate has left room for splitting up of votes from the minority and backward communities, giving an edge to the BJP.

The Scheduled Caste and Muslim vote percentage in Sadar seat is about 35 to 40 percent. Out of total voters, 20,6452 are male voters and 18,2026 are female. A total of 3,88,506 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-elections this time.

An analysis of the voter equation based on caste shows that there are around 53,213 Jatavs, 11,460 Balmikis, 33,863 Jats, 5,377 Yadavs, 31,914 Lodhis and 19,517 Thakurs. Besides, there are 30,072 voters from the Vaishya community, 99,247 Muslims eligible to vote, 5,231 Punjabi voters and around 56,400 voters from other communities.

The Bulandshahr Sadar seat fell vacant after Sirohi’s demise. The seat was earlier represented twice by Alim.


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