Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections: Dynamics And Challenges Mark The Onset Of Phase II Polls

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections: Dynamics And Challenges Mark The Onset Of Phase II Polls

This phase holds crucial significance for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, the INDIA bloc, and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which has chosen to contest independently.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Friday, March 29, 2024, 05:38 PM IST
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Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | FPJ

As the second phase of Lok Sabha elections begins with polling on April 26 across eight constituencies, political stakes are high and a multitude of issues come into play. This phase holds crucial significance for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the INDIA bloc, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has chosen to contest independently.

The nomination process for the second phase began in eight Lok Sabha constituencies : Amroha, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, and Mathura. Each constituency represents a diverse demographic landscape, encompassing a range of concerns from agriculture, social security, infrastructure, mobility, communal harmony, to law enforcement.

While most of these seats have been strongholds for the BJP and its ally, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the BSP has also emerged as a formidable contender in some constituencies. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP secured victories in seven out of the eight seats, with Amroha being the sole constituency captured by the BSP, which was then in alliance with the SP and the RLD.

In the upcoming elections, the second phase will test the RLD's influence over Jat voters and the SP-Congress alliance's sway over Muslim voters. Except for Mathura, where Muslims comprise 85% of the population, the remaining seven constituencies have Muslim votes ranging from over 16% (Gautam Buddh Nagar) to 39% (Amroha). The BSP also holds significant influence in most of these constituencies, and its decision to contest independently will be closely watched.

Amroha:

In the 2019 elections, Amroha was the only seat that eluded the BJP despite the Modi wave. BSP's Kunwar Danish Ali wrested the seat from the BJP, securing over 60% of the votes polled. Amroha has historically been a diverse constituency, witnessing victories by various political ideologies and parties, including the BJP, RLD, BSP, and independents.

Meerut:

Although Meerut has a substantial Muslim voter base of around 34%, the BJP has emerged victorious here five times since 1996. BJP's Rajendra Agrawal won the seat three consecutive times, but in 2024, the party replaced him with Arun Govil, known for portraying Lord Ram in the 80s TV serial 'Ramayan'. This unexpected entry has added an intriguing dimension to the contest, with BSP and SP fielding their respective candidates.

Baghpat:

Baghpat has traditionally been a stronghold of Chaudhary Charan Singh's family. However, in 2024, the BJP has allied with the RLD, denying a ticket to its former candidate, and fielding Rajkumar Sangwan against SP and BSP contenders.

Ghaziabad:

Ghaziabad, a constituency dominated by the BJP, has seen victories by Rajnath Singh and VK Singh. However, this time, the BJP has chosen a different candidate, Atul Garg, sparking dissatisfaction among some Thakur voters.

Gautam Buddh Nagar:

Similar to Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar has been a BJP bastion. BJP's Mahesh Sharma seeks re-election against SP and BSP candidates.

Bulandshahr:

Reserved constituency Bulandshahr has been a BJP stronghold, with the party winning except in 2009. BJP's Bhola Singh secured victory in 2019 and 2014, emphasizing the party's continued dominance.

Aligarh:

Although the BSP has a strong vote base in Aligarh, the BJP has secured victories in six out of eight elections since 1991. BJP's Satish Gautam aims for re-election against BSP competition.

As the electoral battleground heats up, candidates from various parties vie for support, ensuring a fiercely contested second phase of Lok Sabha elections.

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