Eight seats of West UP to set momentum in second phase of polling
BSP has been strong in these eight constituencies and it is contesting seven of the seats while RLD has put up a candidate in Mathura as a part of the alliance. Stakes are high for both the BJP and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the second phase of polling to eight Lok Sabha constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh today with the saffron party trying to retain all these seats that it had won in 2014 but strong anti-incumbency against its candidates, some internal dissensions are challenges for it.
BSP has been strong in these eight constituencies and it is contesting seven of the seats while RLD has put up a candidate in Mathura as a part of the alliance. Nagina, Moradabad, Amroha, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri are going to polls in this phase. This phase will also decide if SP votes are getting transferred to BSP and this will determine the equations between the two parties in the remaining five phases in UP. BJP is strong in Agra and Hathras but the alliance is putting up a formidable challenge in the other seats.
Actor-politician and Congress candidate Raj Babbar has bright prospects in Fatehpur Sikri with locals saying his long association with the area will get him votes. ET travelled to the region and the general perception among the voters is that the MPs chosen in 2014 during the Narendra Modi wave have failed to deliver. However, with BJP making it a presidential contest in the name of Modi this time again, many voters said they may vote for the lotus- BJP election symbol- just to make him the Prime Minister for a second term. In Mathura, dreamgirl Hema Malini- the actor-politician who won her first Lok Sabha election in 2014- faces strong anti-incumbency. Her star appeal notwithstanding, voters say she has not done much for the constituency, would not be accessible and has “stayed put in Mumbai” almost throughout her term.
“Hema Malini won’t win from here as an independent if she were to contest. Our vote is for Modi. She Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi 0 Comments Save 4/18/2019 Eight seats of West UP to set momentum in second phase of pollingnews/elections/lok-sabha/uttar-pradesh/eight-seats-of-west-up-to-set-momentum-in-the-second-phase-of-polling… 2/3 is very arrogant. Has never visited us and has done no work,” Sandeep Gautam, a Brahmin junior engineer told ET. Her opponent Narendra Singh, a Rajput from a reputed family of the area, is a strong candidate. His brother Manvendra had won from Mathura in 2009. Being the RLD candidate, he will get a sizable portion of the Jat votes- the numerically most dominant caste in this constituency. Malini roped in her husband and actor Dharmendra, also a Jat, to woo the voters but people say his Sholay dialogues are not going to sway them. Narendra Singh is also banking on the Jatav votes (due to BSP alliance), his own Rajput votes, as well as that of farmers who are not satisfied with the Modi government.
Mahesh Pathak, a Brahmin industrialist, is the Congress candidates who may actually end up helping Singh as he will take away some votes from his caste that would have gone to BJP. Brahmins are the second largest caste in this seat. Caste lines are very strong in this seat and BJP supporters are unhappy with the party making a Dalit leader Mukesh Aryabandhu the mayor. In Agra, BJP has fielded SPS Baghel, a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, as its candidate. He is contesting from this reserved seat though he was head of the BJP OBC Morcha before the Uttar Pradesh elections. He told ET that his caste certificate issue was resolved long back and he won the UP polls from Tundla reserved seat. Baghel, belonging to the shepherd caste, has been politically active in the area for long as he is a lecturer in Agra College. He dismisses the charge that he is an outsider. “If Akhilesh Yadav can contest from Azamgarh, why can’t I contest from here,” Baghel said. BSP has put up Manoj Kumar Soni as its candidate in Agra. The constituency has a very high Dalit population and half of them are from Mayawati’s Jatav caste.
Muslims are also likely to vote for the alliance. Asked if the Yadavs will transfer their vote to BSP, SP supporters insist that since Akhilesh Yadav has struck an alliance they accept his decision. Some of the Dalit voters said they are unhappy with BJP due to the SC/ST Atrocities Act “dilution” and 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker upper caste. “”50 per cent of the Valmiki (a Dalit caste that usually supports BJP) will vote for SP-BSP-RLD alliance,” Dinesh Valmiki, a local, told ET. 4/18/2019 Eight seats of West UP to set momentum in second phase of polling 3/3 Actor-politician Raj Babbar is a strong candidate in Fatehpur Sikri and locals say his long association with the area brightens his chances of winning.
Source :The Economic Times