Cong-SP Alliance To Continue In Uttar Pradesh By-Polls As 10 Seats Set Go For Polls Soon

Cong-SP Alliance To Continue In Uttar Pradesh By-Polls As 10 Seats Set Go For Polls Soon

From the opposition camp, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, the sitting MLA from Karhal assembly constituency in Mainpuri district, vacated his assembly seat after his grand win from the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 07:30 PM IST
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Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi | X

In the wake of 10 MLAs from Uttar Pradesh winning seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the state is gearing up for by-polls, dubbed a mini-assembly election. This contest is expected to be another fierce battle between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the opposition INDIA bloc.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress, key partners in the INDIA bloc, have announced that their alliance will continue into the by-polls, with discussions on seat-sharing already in progress. "The alliance will continue. We will be in play in the forthcoming by-polls also. And there will be seat-sharing discussions," confirmed U.P. Congress president Ajay Rai.

SP national secretary and chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary echoed similar sentiments, confirming the ongoing alliance and seat-sharing negotiations.

The recent Lok Sabha victory saw four SP MLAs, five BJP MLAs, and one MLA from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) winning seats. “The INDIA bloc's impressive performance, which outperformed the ruling BJP-led NDA alliance in Uttar Pradesh, suggests that the upcoming by-polls will be another intense, bipolar contest,” said senior journalist and political analyst Manoj Bhadra.

Among the soon-to-be-vacant seats, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has resigned from his Karhal assembly seat to retain the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat. Other vacant seats include Khair (Aligarh), Kundarki (Moradabad), Katehari (Ambedkar Nagar), Phulpur (Prayagraj), Ghaziabad (Ghaziabad), Majhawan (Mirzapur), Meerapur (Muzaffarnagar), Shahjahanpur and Milkipur (Ayodhya).

Among the victorious legislators are Uttar Pradesh’s Public Works Department Minister Jitin Prasada, who won the Pilibhit seat. Anoop Pradhan 'Balmiki,' the Minister of State for Revenue, also secured a win in Hathras (SC). 'Balmiki' is currently an MLA from the Khair assembly constituency in Aligarh district. Other BJP MLAs who transitioned from their assembly constituencies to the Lok Sabha include Phulpur MLA Praveen Patel, who won the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat; Ghaziabad MLA Atul Garg, who won the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat; and MLA Vinod Kumar Bind, who won the Bhadohi Lok Sabha seat.

From the opposition camp, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, the sitting MLA from Karhal assembly constituency in Mainpuri district, vacated his assembly seat after his grand win from the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat. Other SP MLAs who secured victories include Ziaur Rehman from Kundarki in Moradabad, winning the Sambhal Lok Sabha seat; senior SP leader Lalji Verma from Katehari in Ambedkar Nagar, who won the Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha seat; and Awdhesh Prasad, MLA from Milkipur, who won the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat. Additionally, RLD MLA Chandan Chauhan from Meerapur in Muzaffarnagar district won the Bijnor Lok Sabha seat by 37,508 votes.

Once these vacancies are confirmed, the Election Commission will announce the by-poll dates. Historically, the Congress has struggled in these constituencies, having failed to win any of the nine seats in the 2017 or 2022 U.P. assembly polls. However, the Congress has a notable history in Ghaziabad and Khair, having won these seats multiple times since 1957.

A Congress source indicated that the party aims to contest from Ghaziabad and Khair seats in the by-polls, emphasizing the strength and harmony within the INDIA bloc.

This alliance marks a significant shift from past attempts. The SP-Congress pre-poll alliance in the 2017 U.P. assembly elections collapsed after a disappointing performance, with the SP winning only 47 seats and the Congress just seven. Similarly, the SP's alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls fell apart after poor results, where SP won 5 seats and BSP 10.

However, the SP-Congress alliance under the INDIA bloc in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections has proved successful. The SP emerged as the largest party in Uttar Pradesh with 37 seats, relegating the BJP to 33 seats. Combined with the Congress's six seats, the INDIA bloc secured a total of 43 seats, surpassing the ruling NDA's 36 seats (including two from RLD and one from Apna Dal (S)).

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