India

Lok Sabha polls: Rich-poor divide casts shadow on VK Singh’s future in Ghaziabad constituency

As per the inputs, while people belonging to upper middle class and upper castes opted for the BJP, people from the lower strata, cast their vote in favour of Mahagathbandhan

Former Army chief General VK Singh (file photo) (Social Media)

NH Political Bureau

As polling for the first phase of election ended on Thursday, Ghaziabad constituency - represented by the incumbent MP and MoS for External Affairs, VK Singh, saw a clear-cut divide between the rich and the poor in terms of their political preferences.

And this divide may cast a shadow on the future of the former Army Chief cum BJP leader, said a commentator, emphasising that in the last election people from all walks of life voted for Singh.

As per the inputs received from various sources, while people belonging to upper middle class and upper castes opted for the BJP, people from the lower strata, cast their vote in favour of the Mahagathbandhan.

A senior photojournalist who was out in the field to capture the election fever, claimed that there were long queues in the rural areas, whereas in the urban areas such as Vaishali, Vasundhara and Indirapuram, polling booths wore a deserted look in the morning.

“Which means people belonging to middle class and upper middle class did not turn up for the voting, whereas the poor came in large numbers,” he explained.

Kusum who works as a domestic help in an upscale residential society in Indirapuram was so enthusiastic to cast her vote that she took leave from work to do so.

She told NH that she had made up her mind already to cast her vote in favour of Mahagathbandhan. “Although BJP supporters tried to convince me to vote for the BJP, but I did not,” she said, stressing even her son voted for Modi.

When asked, Kusum said, “He (Modi) made a lot of promises but did not fulfil them. Moreover, he snatched bread and butter form the poor.”

Like Kusum, her neighbor Munni who was a staunch Modi supporter till some time ago, also did not vote for the BJP this time. According to Munni, Modi did not do anything for poor that is why, “no one from my colony voted for the BJP this time,” she added.

Ghaziabad constituency which came into existence in 2008 after delimitation, has voted for the BJP back to back in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls but this time, the mood of the voters and the political equations are different - enough to cast a shadow on the political future of the incumbent MoS for External Affairs, VK Singh.

Mahagathbandhan candidate Suresh Bansal, is seen as the would be MP as majority of the poor and lower middle class is learnt to have voted for him. Besides, caste equation may also help Bansal to wrest the seat from the BJP, said an observer. Bansal who comes from the Baniya community, was the first choice of the trader’s community living in Ghaziabad who otherwise traditionally voted for the BJP, said the observer.

AAP support for Bansal will also play a crucial role in a triangular fight. In 2014, the SP, BSP and the AAP had separate candidates, but this time AAP, SP and BSP joined hands against the BJP.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Singh won by 567,260 votes and Congress candidate Raj Babbar came second but this time his fortune seem sinking as the voters were sharply divided in the line of their economic status.

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