All Eyes On The Voter Trend As West UP Goes To Polls Today

By: Pramod Kumar Singh
Updated: February 9, 2022 19:21

Baghpat/Kairana: Western part of India’s politically vital state Uttar Pradesh, is going to polls on Thursday. Fate of 623 candidates contesting on 58 seats (out of total 403 seats of Uttar Pradesh Assembly) spanning across 11 districts such as Shamli, Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura and Agra will be sealed. While around 2.27 crore people are eligible to vote in the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election, only those with valid identity proof will be allowed to cast their votes.

The election fever is at its peak and the first phase polling (total 7 phases) has seen a no holds barred campaign by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and its opposing parties namely, Samajwadi Party (SP) with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress. Voting in Western Uttar Pradesh, the sugar belt dominated by the Jat community, holds great significance as the voting pattern will set the ball rolling for the remaining six phases in 64 other districts.

In the backdrop of the farm protests that went on for over a year at Delhi’s borders, BJP’s rival political parties have been trying hard to woo Jats in particular. Traditionally, the Jat vote bank is considered to be BJP’s strong point and has been the reason the party won in the state with heavy numbers in the past elections.

Rakesh Tikait the leader of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) who was in the forefront of the agitation did not campaign against the BJP. This lent credence that the ruling party has managed to weather the political storm and was able to convince the powerful Jat community.

SP-RLD combine led by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and former MP Jayant Chaudhary are hoping to reap the political harvest. However, BJP with its army of workers and its own influential Jat leaders Sanjeev Baliyan, Satya Pal Singh, Suresh Rana and firebrand Sangeet Som appear to have covered significant ground. BJP has been winning in this belt since 2014, 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2017 Assembly elections, riding on sentiments and developmental work done by the Centre and Yogi Adityanath government.

The spectre of 2013 communal riots, that saw Jats at the receiving end, still looms large in this politically wary region. BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have been constantly reminding the voters on whether they wish to go back to the gloomy days of 2013 or want to prosper in the improved law and order situation that their party brought about between 2017-22.

Law and Order has been a major part of discussion in the villages. Political watchers say, BJP has been able to win the admiration and confidence of the villagers, especially women and girls who are now able to move about fearlessly as rule of law has been established. Having laid their cards (and promises) out in the open, all political parties are now awaiting the voter’s verdict.

Here are the key constituencies where candidates are fighting hard to bag the power:

Kairana: Key candidates are Nahid Hassan (SP), Mriganka Singh (BJP), Haji Akhlaq (Congress) Rajendra Singh Upadhyay (BSP)

Thana Bhawan: Key candidates are Ashraf Ali (RLD), Suresh Rana (BJP),SatyaSaini (Congress), Zaheer Malik (BSP)

Pur Qazi (Reserved): Key candidates are Anil Kumar (RLD), Pramod Utwal (BJP), Deepak Kumar (Congress), Surendra Pal Singh (BSP)

Muzaffar Nagar: Key candidates are Sourabh (RLD), Kapil Dev Aggarwal (BJP), Subodh Sharma (Congress), Pushpankar Pal (BSP)

Khatauli: Key candidates are Rajpal Singh Saini (RLD), Vikram Saini (BJP), Gaurav Bhati (Congress), Kartar Singh Bhadana (BSP)

Shamli: Key candidates are Prasanna Chaudhary (RLD), Tejendra Singh Nirwal (BJP), Mohd Ayub Jang (Congress) Brijendra Malik (BSP)

Budhana: Key candidates are Rajpal Baliyan (RLD), Umesh Malik (BJP), Devendra Kashyap (Congress), Haji Mohammad Anish (BSP

Charthawal: Key candidates are Pankaj Kumar Malik (SP), Sapna Kashyap (BJP), Dr Yasmeen Rana (Congress), Salman Saeed (BSP)

Baghpat: Key candidates: Yogesh Dhama (BJP), Ahmad Hameed (SP-RLD) Anil Dev Tyagi (Congress)

Noida: Key candidates are Pankaj Singh (BJP) the son of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Sunil Choudhary(SP), Pankhuri Pathak (Congress), and Pankaj Awana (AAP)

Mathura: Key candidates are Uttar Pradesh Power Minister Shrikant Sharma (BJP), Devendra Agarwal (SP), Pradeep Mathur (Congress)

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