UP’s Kairana, Noorpur bypolls a test for joint Opposition, Dalit vote may be decisive
Kairana and Noorpur seats in Uttar Pradesh fell vacant following the deaths of BJP MP Hukum Singh and BJP MLA Lokendra Singh.
The might of the joint opposition will be on test when it takes on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the bypolls to Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly seats on Monday.
In Kairana, the main contest will be between the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate Tabassum Hasan and BJP nominee Mriganka Singh while Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Naimul-Hasan will take on BJP’s Avani Singh in Noorpur.
A total of 12 candidates in Kairana and 10 in Noorpur are in the fray. At least 16.09 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in Kairana while 3.06 lakh people will vote in Noorpur.
Kairana and Noorpur seats fell vacant following the deaths of BJP MP Hukum Singh and BJP MLA Lokendra Singh. Mriganka is the daughter of Hukum Singh while its Avani is the wife of Lokendra.
The support of Dalit community is set to play a decisive role in the electoral battle. Though the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has not fielded its candidate but like Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-poll Mayawati did not announce support to the opposition candidate leading to speculation that she does not want her supporters to vote for the RLD candidate.
The RLD and SP leaders claimed that the BSP supporters would vote for opposition candidates.
The opposition got a shot in the arm in Kairana with the withdrawal of the candidature of Lok Dal’s Kanwar Hasan. The Congress has already announced support to the RLD candidate on Kairana and the SP candidate on Noorpur seat, respectively.
The BJP tried to turn tables on opposition with the defection of RLD spokesman and former MLA Saheb Singh to the saffron camp. The lone RLD MLA Sahendra Singh has already joined the BJP.
BSP leader from Moradabad district Charan Singh Bharti Jatav and Rajnikant Jatav also joined the BJP.
RLD president Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary spearheaded the RLD campaign whereas chief minister Yogi Adityanath, deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and a number of cabinet ministers led the BJP campaign.
While the opposition raised the issue of non-payment of arrear to sugarcane farmers, the BJP hit back raising the issue of exodus from west UP districts after Muzaffarnagar riots.
To check polarisation of votes, SP president Akhilesh Yadav did not campaign in both the constituencies. In 2014 Lok Sabha election, BJP candidate Hukum Singh had secured 5.65,071 votes while SP’s Nahid Hasan bagged 3,29,013 votes. BSP candidate Kanwar Hasan had secured 1,60,262 votes and RLD’s Kartar Singh Bhadana polled 42,657 votes.
In 2017 assembly election, BJP candidate from Noorpur assembly seat Lokendra Singh had polled 78,951 votes, SP’s Naim-ulHasan got 66,289 and BSP’s Gohar Iqbal secured 45,791 votes.