The upcoming Assembly bypoll on 8 seats has ignited the political scene in Uttar Pradesh amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the outcome of the mini contest won’t impact any power equation in the Assembly, it will surely send out a political message for the 2022 assembly election, political observers say.
The election is expected to be held next month. The Election Commission is expected to announce the dates on Monday.
Six of the 8 seats were with ruling BJP and 2 were with the Samajwadi Party.
The 8 Assembly seats where byelection is due are Tundla, Bangarmau (Unnao), Suar, Bulandshahr, Malhani, Ghatampur (Kanpur), Naugawan (Amroha) and Deoria.
“Foundation laying of the Ram Temple will not help BJP. People would not go for Samajwadi Party either as it has been missing from the ground throughout the pandemic," claims the Congress, which is likely to field candidates on all seats.
UP Congress leader Lalan Kumar says, “We would win all seats for the two simple reasons: first, we are not allying with the Samajwadi Party this time, unlike 2017 Assembly poll. Second, a huge anti-incumbency against the BJP.”
He claims, “The haphazardly implemented lockdown has not only resulted in massive job losses, but has broken the bone of businesses and agriculture. Moreover, the BJP exploited the pandemic and indulged in massive corruption in purchase of corona kits and other items. Lapses in health infrastructure have come to the fore killing scores of Covid and non-Covid patients.”
“To worsen the matters, heinous crimes such as gangrapes, murders and kidnappings have surged across the state. People can clearly see the party had voted for in 2017 had miserably failed on all fronts,” alleges Kumar.
Athar Hussain, a political analyst, doesn't agree with Kumar. “In bypolls, ruling parties usually have an upper hand. Voters usually back the ruling party so the works are done unless there are some really big issues where people resolve to teach the rulers a lesson. The BJP will surely have an edge this time.”
Seats of Kuldeep Sengar, Azam Khan’s son and Chetan Chauhan at stake
Bangarmau seat fell vacant when BJP’s Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s membership was cancelled after he was sentenced to life imprisonment in gangrape and murder case.
The Naagwaman seat in Amroha, held by BJP minister Chetan Chauhan and Ghatampur seat of Kanpur held by BJP minister Kamal Rani Varun fell vacant following their deaths due to coronavirus last month.
Abdullah Azam, son of Samajwadi MP Azam Khan, won from Swar seat of Rampur, but his membership was cancelled by the HC after the dispute related to his date of birth. The Tundla seat of Firozabad got vacant after the resignation of BJP's SP Baghel after being elected as MP.
Due to the demise of Parasnath Yadav of Samajwadi Party, the Malhani assembly seat of Jaunpur fell vacant. The seats of BJP's Janmejaya Singh from Deoria Sadar and Virender Sirohi from Bulandshahr are also vacant due to the demise.
Smaller outfits renewed quota demands
Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad has renewed his demand for reservation to the fishermen community in the scheduled caste category. The Nishad community is among the 17 caste groups that have been seeking reservation under the SC category instead of the OBC category.