In UP Congress set to lose, BJP looks at gains

Tags: News
While the Congress will fight to save its base, the Bhartiya Janata Party will struggle to make its presence felt in the fifth phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

For both the parties this is a crucial phase that will decide their final tally from Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress could lose some seats while the BJP will gain some.

In the 15 seats that are going to polls on Wednesday, the Congress held seven — its maximum is all phases. The Congress seats include Amethi, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Faizabad, Bahraich, Gonda and Shravasti.

While Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, is facing the toughest challenge of his political career in Amethi which has been invaded by BJP and Aam Aadmi Party like never before, the party is uncomfortably placed in Sultanpur, Bahraich and Shravasti.

Union minister Beni Prasad Varma and UPCC president Nirmal Khatri are struggling to save their bastions in Gonda and Faizabad respectively.

The fifth phase is equally crucial for the Bahujan Samaj Party which had won five seats in the same phase in 2009. The seats held by the BSP include Phulpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar and Bhadohi.

The BSP is facing trouble is almost all the sitting seats since Dalits are reportedly moving towards the BJP. “In these elections and in the Modi wave, even Dalits have turned into Hindus,” admitted a BSP leader.

Having sensed this shift in her support base, BSP president Mayawati has sharpened her attack on the BJP and is asking Dalits not to be misled by the saffron propaganda. “You are Dalits, not Hindus and do not allow the BJP to mislead you,” is hr common refrain at all political rallies.

The Samajwadi Party, on the other hand, had won only three seats in the fifth phase in 2009. The SP seats are Kaiserganj (where the sitting SP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is now contesting on a BJP ticket), Kaushambhi and Allahabad.

If reports are to be believed, the party is not comfortably placed in any of the three seats and is working overtime to retain its tally by winning new seats.

For the BJP, this phase poses a huge challenge since the party could not win a single seat here in 2009 and if now aiming at making substantial gains to improve its state wide tally.

A significant factor in this phase is that more than the Modi wave, it is casteism which is rearing its head again, making the electoral battles even more tough for the BJP.

This phase also has a strong presence of criminals-turned-politicians and these include Ateeq Ahmad (SP) and Rizwan Zaheer (Peace Party) from Shravasti, Pawan Pandey (BJP) from Sultanpur, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (BJP) from Kaiserganj, Mitrasen Yadav (SP) and Jitendra Singh Babloo (BSP) from Faizabad, Kapil Muni Karwaria (BSP) and Keshav Maurya (BJP) from Phulpur and Bhal Chandra Yadav (SP) from Sant Kabir Nagar.

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