EBCs Giving BJP Reason to Smile in SP, BSP Zone
New Delhi: 53 Vidhan Sabha constituencies — spread over 12 districts, including the economically backward Bundelkhand region— will go to polls in the fourth phase in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
Mayawati-led BSP has been traditionally strong in this region and the party appears to have a good chance this time as well. Samajwadi Party, followed by BJP, is the main opponent against BSP on most seats. Though the Bundelkhand region is the most backward region in UP, caste equations dominate over the issue of development and determine the way the votes swing in these polls.
Polling in this phase will be held in Pratapgarh,Kaushambi,Allahabad, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur and Rae Bareli. Allahabad, which has the most numberof 12Assemblyseatsinadistrict, is witnessing some interesting contests. In Allahabad (West), BJP national secretary Siddharthnath Singh is contesting against Puja Pal (BSP) and Richa Singh (SP).
Senior SP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Reoti Raman Singh’s son Ujjwal is in the fray from Karchana in Allahabad district.
Despite the SP-Congress alliance, the two parties are engaged in a f r i endly- f i ght in Sareni and Unchahar seat of Rae Bareli.
In Sareni, Devendra Pratap Singh, the sitting MLA is contesting on a SP ticket against Ashok Singh of the Congress. Dhirendra Singh is the BJP candidate here. In Unchahar, SP sitting MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey is in the fray against Ajay Pal Singh (Congress) and Utkarsh Maurya (BJP). Backward Castes like Lodhs, Ku r mi s , G u r j a r s , Ya d av s , Kushwahas, Pals and so on are present in sizable numbers in the cons t i t uenci e s t hat fall in t he Bundelkhand region. Thakurs are in big numbers in some seats and play a significant role in the elections. BJP has been wooing the nonYadav backward castes with reasonable success and this is likely to dent the BSP in some seats.
Dalits—including Kori, Valmiki and Ahirwars—constitute the next big chunk of votes. BJP is confident of getting most of the Kori and Valmiki votes while Ahirwars are supporting BSP.
Though the Muslim population in Bundelkhand region is not as high as in west UP, they can play a crucial role in the outcome. Here too, the community is strongly opposed to BJP and will vote for either SP or BSP depending on which party is a position to defeat the saffron party. In Kunda seat of Pratapgarh, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya is contesting again as an Independent with SP support.