BJP, Congress relying on ‘borrowed’ players; SP Banking on OBC support

Traditional BJP and Congress rivals are relying on “borrowed” players in the battle for Amethi, the Gandhi family stronghold that the saffron party has now torn down. The BJP has lined up veteran Congressman Sanjay Sinh, who left the big old party at the saffron camp in 2019, while Congress nominated renegade Ashish Shukla from the assembly seat who will go to the polls on February 27 in of the fifth of seven elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Starting with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Shukla had moved to the BJP in 2017 and has now left it for the Congress. Moments after Sinh’s candidacy was announced, Shukla was inducted into the Congress in Delhi and was immediately nominated as its candidate for the top seat who continues to capture the nation’s attention due to his association with the Gandhi family since the days of Indira Gandhi. .

Wasting no time, Sinh and Shukla swore loyalty to their respective new parties and are reaching out to voters with their party manifestos. But, in the struggle between the BJP and the Congress, the Samajwadi Party (SP) led by Akhilesh Yadav has lined up the wife of lifer Gayatri Prajapati for the Amethi assembly seat.

Mayawati’s BSP chose Ragini Tiwari as part of its old Dalit-Brahmin social engineering formula, threatening to turn the contest into a multi-angle contest. The fight for Amethi began in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani challenged former Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Although she lost in 2014, Irani avenged her loss by beating Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

The script for the latest upset parliamentary poll was again written by the BJP in the 2017 assembly elections when it won four of the five assembly seats in the Amethi Lok Sabha segment. Gauriganj’s seat then went to the SP, while the Congress went blank in 2017.

The seat of Amethi Lok Sabha comprises five assembly constituencies – Amethi, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur (reserved SC) and Tiloi and Salon (located in neighboring Rae Bareli district). Amethi is no longer a (Congress) stronghold, says Sinh, in whose favor the BJP settled a family dispute over a ballot ticket between his first wife and BJP MP Garima Singh and his second wife and badminton player Amita Singh, who changed at the party with her husband. “It’s no longer a ‘gadh’ (fort) or any ‘gadhwale’ here,” he said mockingly during his campaign.

Sinh is reaching out to the people based on the development work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister and MP Amethi Smriti Irani. Congress candidate Shukla, who once battled Rahul Gandhi in an Amethi parliamentary election and garnered more than a lakh of votes, is campaigning on the basis of the “Ladki Hun, Lad Sakti Hoon” campaign. ” of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and the promises made by the party in its manifesto.

For PS candidate Maharaji Prajapati and her son and two daughters, the fight is to get justice for her husband Gayatri Prajapati, a minister in the former PS government, who is serving a life sentence in a rape case collective on a minor. “It’s all fake…my father was involved in the case as part of a conspiracy,” said Anil Prajapati, who oversees his mother’s campaign.

Prajapati’s daughters, Ankita Prajapati and Sudha Praapati, are using social media to demand justice for their imprisoned father. Meanwhile, BSP’s Tiwari is banking on the huge Brahmin vote as well as Mayawati’s grassroots vote among the Dalits, to propel her to victory.

According to sources from different political parties, the Amethi assembly seat has over 3.48 lakh voters. Among these Brahmins there are 80,000, Thakurs about 30,000, Muslims 25,000, Dalits 30,000 and other backward classes nearly 1.25 lakh. While Sinh is a Thakur, Congress candidate Shukla and BSP candidate Tiwari are Brahmins. Maharaji Prajapati of SP is from OBC.

Rajesh Agrahi, a powerful local BJP leader who is also the constituency representative of Smriti Irani, told PTI, “Neither Rahul Gandhi has a taker among the people, nor any caste factor will work here.” “Only the chant ‘Modi-Yogi’ is on the lips of all the poor people who are enjoying the free ration and health benefits provided by the dual-engine government, among others, without any discrimination,” said Agrahi, who was himself a serious candidate in the ballot.

College-going girls Sadhna and Priti say Priyanka Gandhi’s slogan “Ladki hoon…” has no effect among people. “Are we going to study or fight the goondas?” Priti, a resident of Jayash locality said.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Loknath Yadav and Ram Bahadur Yadav from Pandeypur bazaar said they would vote only for those who promise to do development work in the area. Pitardeen Shukla and Binod Kumar Shukla from Madhavpur village in Gauriganj said, “(Muhammad Ali) Jinnah and Pakistan will not provide them with roji-roti (means of livelihood). We need someone who is doing development work in the area.” District Congress Chairman Prashant Tripathi and his colleagues Anupam Pandey and Anil Singh highlighted the establishment of the Institute of Petroleum, training camp of CRPF and seven NH by Congress in Amethi.

BJP District Unit Chairman Durgesh Tripathi said, “The development of Rahul Gandhi could be understood from the fact that there was no CT scan facility in Gauriganj during his time while Smriti ji has nine oxygen plants, an over-bridge to decongest traffic, among other things.

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