UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP Fields BP Saroj From Machchlishahar Despite Narrow Victory By 181 Votes In Previous Polls; Here's Why

UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP Fields BP Saroj From Machchlishahar Despite Narrow Victory By 181 Votes In Previous Polls; Here's Why

BP Saroj, alias Bholanath, was fielded by the BJP from Machchlishahar, despite his narrow victory margin of just 181 votes in the previous election—the smallest in India.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Thursday, April 11, 2024, 07:13 PM IST
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UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP Fields BP Saroj From Machchlishahar Despite Narrow Victory By 181 Votes In Previous Polls; Here's Why |

UP: Caste played an important role in Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) decision to re-nominate its incumbent MP, BP Saroj, alias Bholanath, from Machchlishahar, despite his narrow victory margin of just 181 votes in the previous election—the smallest in India.

The delay in announcing Saroj's candidacy until the third list of BJP candidates fueled speculation about his potential replacement. However, insiders reveal that Saroj's renomination is attributed to his caste affiliation, belonging to the influential Pasi community, which wields significant influence over voters in the Machchlishahar constituency.

"A substantial portion of voters in Machchlishahar are from the Saroj caste, prompting the BJP to strategically capitalize on this demographic," disclosed a BJP source. Additionally, the party aimed to maintain caste balance in eastern Uttar Pradesh by nominating Vinod Sonkar, another Dalit candidate, in the neighboring Kaushambi constituency.

PM Modi's Diverse Caste Move For Candidate Selection

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meticulously curated the candidate selection across adjoining constituencies, ensuring representation from diverse castes. For instance, Chandauli boasts Mahendra Nath Pandey, a Brahmin, while Ghazipur features Parasnath Rai, a Bhumihar, and Jaunpur presents Thakur Kripra Shankar Singh.

Moreover, Mirzapur sees the BJP's ally, Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel, representing backward castes, further emphasizing the party's commitment to caste inclusivity.

Despite speculations regarding Saroj's replacement by BJP MLA Tribhuvan Ram from Ajgara, the party leadership reaffirmed its trust in Saroj, citing his performance and caste as pivotal factors in his candidacy.

Saroj's victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, despite a narrow margin, underscores his political clout. Despite the BJP's significant lead in the Pindra assembly constituency, which falls under Machchlishahar parliamentary seat, Saroj emerged victorious.

Details On Machhilishahr Constituency

The Machhilishahr Lok Sabha constituency encompasses Machhilishahr, Madiyahu, Zafarabad, Kerakat, and Pindra assembly segments of Varanasi. In 2019, Saroj defeated BSP's Tribhuvan Ram, who subsequently switched to the BJP and currently serves as MLA from Ajgara.

While BJP dominance was evident in Machchlishahar in 2014 when Ramcharitra Nishad secured the seat with a significant margin, the dynamics shifted in 2019, with Saroj clinching victory by a narrow margin of 181 votes.

With Saroj's candidacy confirmed by the BJP, attention now turns to the Samajwadi Party and BSP, who are yet to announce their contenders, setting the stage for an intriguing political contest in Machchlishahar.

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