Uttar Pradesh: Yogi’s prestige at stake in Azamgarh, Rampur bypolls
The prestige of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is at stake in Rampur and Azamgarh as both these Lok Sabha seats are considered a bastion of the Samajwadi Party
The prestige of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is at stake in Rampur and Azamgarh as the elections in these Lok Sabha seat has emerged as a key test for Yogi Adityanath-led government after being voted into power a second time in March.
Both the constituencies go to polls on June 23 and the results will be declared on June 26.
Yogi Adityanath campaigned in Azamgarh on Sunday where he offered to change the name of the city to Aryamgarh. In the election campaign he attacked SP and BSP but did not elaborate on why Azamgarh was still backward.
The political pundits are comparing the Rampur and Azamgarh elections with the previous bye-elections to two Lok Sabha seats –Gorakhpur and Phoolpur in 2018, that were held after assembly elections. Both the seats were held by the BJP. One was by Yogi Adityanath himself and other by his Deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya. After both of them joined the state government, they resigned from their Lok Sabha seats.
In that election, the BJP candidates lost to the opposition candidates backed by Samajwadi party and Bahujan Samaj party.
The situation is different now because both the Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats are being held by the Samajwadi party. Akhilesh Yadav had won Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat while Azam Khan was victorious from Rampur seat. Both of them resigned from their seats after Akhilesh won Vidhan Sabha elections from Karhal in Mainpuri and Azam Khan from Rampur assembly seat.
Both the seats have emerged as a key test for Yogi Adityanath government as both the seats are considered bastion of Samajwadi Party. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Azam Khan’s associate Asim Raja from Rampur, while in Azamgarh, Akhilesh’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav, who is former MP from Badaun is in fray.
In Azamgarh BJP has raised the issue of gharwale and baharwale as it has fielded Bhojpuri actor Dinesh Yadav alias Nirahua from there. He had unsuccessfully contested election from Azamgarh in 2019 and lost to Akhilesh Yadav.
Insiders in the party say that winning Rampur would be a difficult task for the BJP but victory in Azamgarh is possible. The Chief Minister knows that and therefore is concentrating in this constituency. “But it would not be that easy. Azamgarh is basically Muslim dominated constituency where Rajbhars too are in high number. With Om Prakash Rajbhar of Suhaildev Bharariya Samaj Party (SBSP) actively taking part in campaigning, and Azam Khan too addressing a few rallies this could be a difficult job for the BJP,” a senior BJP leader said.
The BJP is putting its hopes on Guddu Jamali, the BSP candidate for Azamgarh. BJP leaders feel if he can cut a sizeable number of Muslim votes, BJP can sneak in.
A victory for the SP in both these constituencies can invigorate the opposition parties who can intensify their attacks on the ruling coalition. The secret will be revealed only on June 26 when results will be declared.