UP: Tough contest expected in Azamgarh and Rampur by-elections

Inflation and Agnipath are the two major issues that leaders of BJP, SP and BSP are talking about as they are making an attempt to woo voters in Azamgarh and Rampur constituencies

Representative Photo (social media)
Representative Photo (social media)

NH Correspondent/Lucknow

Inflation and Agnipath are the two major issues that leaders of political parties like Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party are talking about as they are making an attempt to woo voters in Azamgarh and Rampur parliamentary constituencies where by-elections are slated for June 23.

The election results will be announced on June 26.

The by-poll to both the seats has been necessitated following the resignation of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav from Azamgarh and senior SP leader Azam Khan from Rampur. Both contested the 2022 UP assembly polls and won their respective Karhal and Rampur Sadar segments. They decided to retain their Vidhan Sabha seats and resigned from Lok Sabha.

Azamgarh, considered to be a bastion of SP, seems poised for a tough triangular battle ahead as, on one hand, the BJP has fielded Bhojpuri film star and singer Dinesh Lal Yadav, popularly known as Nirhaua, in an attempt to woo the Yadav voters, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali to breach into the Muslim vote bank of SP. While SP has fielded Dharmendra Yadav.

Dharmendra Yadav is former MP from Badaun.

In Rampur, SP has fielded Asim Raja while the BJP has given ticket to Ghanshyam Lodhi, a former SP Legislator who at one time was considered close to Azam Khan. BSP has decided not to field any candidate from Rampur.

In both the constituencies – one in eastern UP (Azamgarh) and other in western UP (Rampur) – the issues are the same. People are talking about Inflation and how diesel and petrol have all of a sudden disappeared from the government-owned petrol pumps. And now the youth is piqued over the new recruitment policy in the army called Agnipath scheme.

The sentiments are high against the new government policy, particularly in eastern Uttar Pradesh, where scores of youth join the army in Ballia, Ghazipur, and Azamgarh. That is the reason why the protest against Agnipath scheme is more vociferous in eastern UP than in western UP.

The BJP realizes this and therefore, the party leaders are trying to reach out to the voters based on the ground reports of various cells. Preparations are being made to reach out to 10 lakh voters of the Lok Sabha constituency. In order to implement their strategy on the ground, conferences are being organised by dividing it into 311 Shakti Kendras of eight booths in 22 divisions.

On the other hand, SP leaders are busy with their ‘cycle yatras’ to reach out to the voters of Azamgarh. SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav has said that the workers of various fronts of the party will lay the foundation of victory by reaching all the voters. Besides, 10 MLAs of SP along with different teams comprising youngsters, women, backward, scheduled tribes, farmers, and minority fronts are busy reaching out to the people of Azamgarh.

Rampur is considered a bastion of Azam Khan. SP’s candidate Asim Raza is a close confidante of Azam Khan and in the absence of BSP, the contest would be between the two protegees of Khan because the BJP candidate Ghanshyam Lodhi was also once considered Khan’s man.

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