Thursday, 16 August 2018

Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll test for BJP, Opposition today

Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll test for BJP, Opposition today
27 May

NEW DELHI: All eyes are on Monday’s Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll which would test the popularity of the ruling BJP, especially among the Jats, Dalits and Most Backward Castes (MBC).

For RLD, headed by former Union Minister Ajit Singh, which enjoys the support of opposition parties like SP, BSP and Congress for its nominee Tabassum Hasan, this bypoll is an ideal opportunity to send out a message that a tactical political combination of Jat, Muslims and Dalits in West UP is evolving into a force to reckon with ahead of the 2019 LS polls.

Following its defeat in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls in eastern UP’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur, BJP has perhaps realised the challenges of winning a difficult constituency like Kairana. This has probably prodded the party to step up its campaign efforts there.

The Kairana bypoll is necessitated due to the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh whose daughter Mriganka Singh is now the BJP’s nominee for the seat.

While UP chief minister Yogi Aditya Nath has addressed two meetings at Nakur (Saharanpur) and Shamli, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP’s state president Mahendra Nath Pandey have also spent good deal of time in different parts of Kairana. Of the five assembly seats which Kairana Lok Sabha seat accommodates, the BJP had won Shamli, Thana Bhavan, Gangoh and Nakur in the 2017 assembly elections.

However, it could not win Kairana, which was won by the SP. Apart from Muslims, the Kairana constituency has a good presence of MBC voters like Kashyaps, Sainis and Kumhars.

“They are decisive factors in different parts of this LS constituency. The BJP has given special focus on MBC voters in this by-election,” a source in the UP BJP said.

BJP also deployed its local faces, particularly MLAs, in Kairana during the campaign. This time, the battle appears to be equally tough for both the BJP and Opposition parties in Kairana.

If RLD performs well, it would automatically expedite the process for unifying opposition parties like SP, BSP and Congress. While BSP has silently worked to defeat the BJP, SP leaders like state president Naresh Uttam has camped in Kairana to ensure proper coordination between RLD and his party.

If BJP retains this seat, it wouldbe an opportunity for it to counter the opposition parties’ claim about its shrinking base in West UP ahead of the 2019 LS battle.


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