SP-Cong, BSP Bat­tle it Out with BJP in Phase-II

Of 67 seats go­ing to polls to­day, SP won 34, BSP 18, BJP 12 & Cong 3 in 2012

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: The sec­ond phase of polling, spread over 67 seats in 11 dis­tricts in north Ut­tar Pradesh, is cru­cial for the Sa­ma­jwadi party as it won 34 seats in this belt.

This phase is im­por­tant for BJP too as the party would like to re­peat its 2014 Lok Sabha elec­tion per­for­mance in this belt. BSP has a strong pres­ence in Sa­ha­ran­pur and Bi­jnor dis­tricts that have 15 Assem­bly con­stituen­cies.

SP had won 34 of these 67 seats in 2012 while BSP was the win­ner in 18 con­stituen­cies. BJP won 12 and Congress three seats.

Like the first phase that cov­ered western UP, the sec­ond phase too has a siz­ableMus­limpop­u­la­tio­nandthecom­mu­nity- which has given clear in­di­ca­tions thatitwillvote­for­whichev­er­can­di­date is in a po­si­tion to de­feat the BJP in an Assem­bly con­stituency- will play a de­ter­mi­nantin­whowin­saseat.

BJP is banking on the up­per caste, vaishya and EBC votes this time. The non-JatavDal­itsinthe­seseat­sare­sup­port­ing the BJP along with back­ward castes like Saini, Pal and Kashyap.

Sa­ha­ran­pur,Bi­jno­randRam­pu­rare more po­larised than the other con­stituen­cies. The other dis­tricts where polling will be held on February 15 are Moradabad, Samb­hal, Bareilly, Am­roha, Pilib­hit, Kheri, Shah­ja­han­pur and Badaun.

In Sa­ha­ran­pur, Congress leader Im­ranMa­sood­has­re­port­ed­ly­hadasay in dis­tri­bu­tion of the Congress and SP tick­ets.Pop­u­lara­mongth­e­lo­cals­for­be­ing ac­ces­si­ble when­ever they are in dis­tress, Ma­sood has won a lot of good­will. Lo­cals main­tain that BJP is putting up a good fight in most seats.

The polls in Bi­jnor had got po­larised due to the vi­o­lence that took place on Septem­ber 16, 2016 in Pedha vil­lage. Three Mus­lims were killed in the clash. BJP has fielded Suchi Chaud­hary, wife of a RSS worker who is among the 27 peo­ple jailed in the case.

Deoband is also one of the con­stituen­cies that go to polls in the sec­ond phase. SP can­di­date Maavia Ali, the sit­ting MLA, is a strong can­di­date.

Prom­i­nent lead­ers in the fray in the sec­ond phase in­clude for­mer union min­is­ter and Rahul Gandhi’s close as­so­ci­ate Jitin Prasada, who is the Congress can­di­date from Til­har seat in Shah­ja­han­pur. SP leader Azam Khan’s son Ab­dul­lah is the can­di­date from Suar seat in Ram­pur.

Sa­ma­jwadi Party has tra­di­tion­ally been strong in Moradabad, Samb­hal, Am­roha and Badaun.

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