इंडियन आवाज़     21 May 2024 02:53:50      انڈین آواز

Elections 2024: March to Delhi via Yadav-heartland in Uttar Pradesh

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Dimple Yadav is a household name in entire constituency and around Mainpuri. During election campaign she is attraction huge crowd and love and affection of people

Dimple Yadav seeking vote for Smajwadi Party

Nirendra Dev and Andalib Akhter  in Mainpuri / Agra /Hathras (Uttar Pradesh) 

Mainpuri – welcome to a key hub in the Yadav heartland. Mulayam Singh Yadav won from the constituency in 1996 to become India’s Defence Minister under H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujral. Since then, this has been a Yadav-family bastion. In 2022 by-poll after Mulayam’s death the seat was won by his daughter-in-law Mrs Dimple Yadav. 

The lawmaker wife of Samajwadi Party chief is not a Yadav by birth; but that’s not the issue and hence she has been fielded again. This is one seat — the BJP may not struggle to wrest amid a hyped Ram Mandir campaign. Perhaps they know, it is much more than a tough seat.   

Besides Mulayam and Mrs Dimple Yadav, three others from Yadav clan have represented this.– 1998 and 1999 Balram Singh Yadav, 2004 (by-poll) Dharmendra Yadav and 2014 by-pollTej Pratap Singh Yadav.
In 2024, SP nominee Dimple Yadav is pitted against BJP’s Jaiveer Singhand Shiv Prasad Yadav of BSP.
The issue here could be development, lack of development and a case of typical ‘alleged negligence’; but voters know that they have to back Netaji’s Bahu – that is DimpleYadav. But under Yogi Adityanath’s leadership in the assembly polls, BJP could pick up two assembly segments falling under the Mainpuri parliamentary segment.

They areMainpuri (Jaiveer Singh) and Bhongaon (Ram Naresh Agnihotri). Importantly among the five segments former CM and Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadavrepresents Karhal assembly and his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav represents Jaswantnagar assembly.So, in other words, the family prestige will be at stake. 

The Agra-Firozabad and Mainpuri section or sub-region was once known as the Yadav heartland. But since 2014 – as BJP’s penetration deepened,there are changes on the ground.

Firozabad has often been a shaky ground for Mulayam’s party. In 2009, Akhilesh Yadav had won the seat but after he vacated it, actor-turned-politicianRaj Babbar won it on Congress ticket. SP got it back in 2014 but in 2019, it was lost toBJP’s 2019 Chandrasen Jadon.

In 2019, Akhilesh’s uncle, Shivpal Singh Yadav formed a new partyPSP(L) and polled 91,869 votes. BJP nominee could humble Akshay Yadav, son of Ram Gopal Yadav, by a margin of 28, 781. The Shivpal factor is this time back with the family.Akshay Yadav is again contesting and lately the party got a boost as some Kushwacaste voters from BSP joined Samajwadi Party.The BJP has dropped its sitting MP Jadon and instead fielded Thakur Vishwadeep SIngh, the son of former MP Thakur Brajraj Singh.

The 10 parliamentary seats going to the polls in UP in the third phase on May 7are – Agra, Aonla, Badaun, Bareilly, Etah, Fatehpur Sikri,Hathras and Sambhal besides Firozabad and Mainpuri.

In Sambhal, the stage is almost set for a triangular contest between SP’s Zia ur Rahman Barq, Parmeshwar Lal Saini of BJP and the BSP nominee Shaulat Ali   

The seat had hit headlines in 1996 when D. P. Yadav had won it as a candidateof Bahujan Samaj Party – then under Kanshi Ram. In 1998, Mulayam Singh Yadav won it for his Samajwadi Party and in 2004, it was Ram Gopal Yadav again ofSamajwadi Party. In 2009, Shafiqur Rahman Barq won it as Bahujan Samaj Party candidate.But in 2014, the strong Modi wave helped BJP get the seat for its nomineeSatyapal Singh Saini. And yet again in 2019 Shafiqur Rahman Barq won it andthis time he was with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party.

In Hathras, a gangrape made news in 2020. But in 2024, even the Samajwadi Party which is campaigning on women’s safety is not talking about the rape and death episode for fear of ‘antagonising’ the substantial upper caste vote in this reserved SC seat.

In 2019, when the SP and BSP were allies, the SP’s candidate here was placed second.The Dalits and Thakurs could be around 3 lakh each in the Hathras Lok Sabha segment followed by 2 lakh Brahmins, 1.80 lakh Vaishyas and 80,000 Muslims. The upper caste votes, apart from the support for it by non-Jatav Dalits, has always helped to make it a BJP bastion. The BJP has won Hathras consecutively since 1991. In 2009, the RLD won here as a BJP ally. The BSP finished runner-up in each poll between 1996 and 2014. 
In 2024, the BJP’s candidate to sweat it out is Anoop Pradhan and his rival will beJasveer Valmiki of SP. 
In Agra, Ram Shankar Katheria of BJP had won the seat in 2009 and 2014. In 2019,BJP replaced Katheria and fielded S. P. Singh Baghel. The move paid dividends. Three major communities who decide political journey for the Taj city are Dalits, Jatavsand Muslims. In political circles locally it is also called the Dalit capital of Uttar Pradesh.

SP’s Suresh Kardam will try to woo mainly Jatav and Muslim voters and BSP’ Pooja Amrohi will bank on Dalit votes. On the other hand, BJP has banked yet again on the incumbent MP S P SIngh Baghel who of course will try his luck yet again on welfare schemes and the powerful Modi factor.

It can be pointed out that in two consecutive polls – 1999 and 2004 – SP’sRaj Babbar had won the seat. Notably, for Baghel, the victory margin in 2019 was around 2 lakh votes.

People in some of these segments and roadside tea stalls irrespective of caste, gender and religion throw up reflections of political scenarios as they share anecdotes and their political views.  One fruit seller at Agra says, “I am a Muslim and would hate to vote for Modi.In 2014 and 2019, Modi made a lot of promises. He delivered some; and failed some. Buthe fulfilled all promises made to Hindus and failed on all promises made for Muslims”.


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