UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Battle for West UP Begins, Muslim Vote Holds Key In First Phase

UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Battle for West UP Begins, Muslim Vote Holds Key In First Phase

The performance of BSP candidates and the voting inclinations of minority communities will decisively shape the electoral fate of both BJP-RLD and SP candidates in the initial phase.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 08:06 PM IST
article-image
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: UP Heading For A Triangular Contest Between NDA, INDIA Bloc & BSP | PTI

As the nation gears up for the inaugural phase of general elections today, all eyes are fixed on the political theatre of western Uttar Pradesh (UP), where the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the minority electorate emerge as central players in a nuanced electoral saga.

Political analyst Preetam Srivastava emphasizes the substantial influence of the Muslim vote in western Uttar Pradesh (UP). “This voting bloc plays a pivotal role in shaping the political landscape of the region by significantly impacting the prospects of candidates vying for electoral success,” he said.

With constituencies spanning Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Nagina (SC), Moradabad, Rampur, and Pilibhit, the region boasts a substantial Muslim population ranging from 23 to 42 percent. This demographic diversity underscores the pivotal role of minority votes in steering the region's political trajectory.

BSP's Independent Stance, SP's Rallying Support And The Impact On Electoral Calculus

In the backdrop of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, where the alliance between the BSP, Samajwadi Party, and Rashtriya Lok Dal held sway in Muslim-dominated regions, a seismic shift is underway. The BSP's decision to contest independently and the RLD's alignment with the BJP have reshaped the political landscape.

Historically, the division of minority votes between the SP and BSP has favored the BJP, contributing to a fragmented electoral panorama. However, indications of change surfaced in the 2022 Assembly elections with minority support rallying behind the SP, signaling a potential shift in dynamics.

Key constituencies like Rampur, Saharanpur, Bijnor, Nagina, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar, and Kairana, pulsate with electoral fervor as they bear witness to a captivating battle. The presence of Muslim candidates fielded by both the BSP and the INDIA Bloc adds layers of complexity, potentially altering the electoral calculus.

In Rampur, with a significant Muslim electorate of 42 percent, the contest between BSP's Zeeshan Khan and the lesser-known SP candidate Maulana Mahibullah Naqvi underscores the prevailing uncertainty. Preetam Srivastava remarks, "The division of Muslim votes may indirectly benefit the BJP."

Key Electoral Battlegrounds In Western UP

Meanwhile, Saharanpur witnesses a fierce clash between BSP's Majid Ali and Congress's Imran Masood, with Priyanka Gandhi's endorsement infusing vigor into the fray. Raghav Lakhanpal, the BJP candidate, anticipates leveraging the division of votes.

In Kairana, the presence of SP's Tabassum Hasan, BSP's Shiv Pal Singh Ran, and BJP's Pradeep Kumar heightens the competition, while Moradabad sees Mohd Irfan Saifi of BSP challenging incumbent Sarvesh Singh.

Pilibhit presents another intriguing spectacle, with BSP's Anis Ahmad Khan, SP's Bhagwat Saran Gangwar, and BJP's Jitin Prasada locking horns amid Varun Gandhi's absence.

Despite Muslim-majority constituencies like Nagina, Bijnore, and Muzaffarnagar, the absence of Muslim candidates in key parties raises questions about minority representation.

Decisive Role of BSP Candidates And Minority Votes In Shaping Electoral Dynamics

The performance of BSP candidates and the voting inclinations of minority communities will decisively shape the electoral fate of both BJP-RLD and SP candidates in the initial phase. Rajeev Srivastava underscores the BJP's vulnerability in constituencies like Muzaffarnagar, where narrow margins of victory in previous elections could be overturned by BSP's performance.

As the electoral drama unfolds, factors like community allegiance, voter turnout, and the resonance of national issues will navigate the course of Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Bijnore, and Kairana, reflecting the intricate interplay of caste dynamics and strategic voting patterns in Indian electoral politics.

RECENT STORIES

Cyclone Remal: Flight Operations Resume At Kolkata Airport After Severe Cyclonic Storm Remal Weakens

Cyclone Remal: Flight Operations Resume At Kolkata Airport After Severe Cyclonic Storm Remal Weakens

Live Breaking News Updates: 2 Doctors From Sassoon General Hospital Arrested For Manipulation Of...

Live Breaking News Updates: 2 Doctors From Sassoon General Hospital Arrested For Manipulation Of...

Telangana Tragedy: 13 People Killed As Heavy Rains Accompanied By Thunderstorms Wreak Havoc In State

Telangana Tragedy: 13 People Killed As Heavy Rains Accompanied By Thunderstorms Wreak Havoc In State

Tamil Nadu Government Cautions People Against Taking Up Fake International Job Offers

Tamil Nadu Government Cautions People Against Taking Up Fake International Job Offers

Rajkot Gamezone Fire CCTV Video: Sparks From Welding Material Led To Massive Blaze That Claimed 33...

Rajkot Gamezone Fire CCTV Video: Sparks From Welding Material Led To Massive Blaze That Claimed 33...