EBCs Giv­ing BJP Rea­son to Smile in SP, BSP Zone

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

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.

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