Noida has become an assembly constituency for the first time. Fittingly, political parties have also gone for first-timers to woo the urban electorate.
The candidates of all major parties - the BSP, the BJP, the SP and the Congress— are making their debut in the state’s electoral arena.
Seven parties have so far announced their candidates—all fresh faces. Most candidates don’t have a big political career. “Urban voters are very conscious of politicians’ images. It’s refreshing that Noida will have a newcomer, and not a typical politician, as its MLA,” says Divya Sharma, an IT professional.
The BJP has fielded Mahesh Sharma, the Congress VS Chauhan, the Samajwadi Party Sunil Chaudhary, the BSP Om Datt Sharma, the JD-U Bhopal Chauhan, Loksatta Anup Khanna and Jan Kranti Party Yogendra Sharma.
Though Mahesh Sharma contested the parliamentary election once, he’s an assembly election candidate for the first time. All the others are greenhorns.
Like Mahesh Sharma, Chauhan runs a hospital in Noida. Chaudhary joined the SP only a year ago. Khanna is known for his involvement with a parents’ association and a chemist’s body. The other nominees are also new to electoral politics.
The parties claim their decision is a well thought out one, based on history of the constituency. In the 2007 assembly poll, Noida was part of the Dadri segment. The BJP, Congress and RLD then fielded “experienced hands” but could not succeed. The BSP’s new entrant Satveer Gurjar won from Dadri.
Unlike Jewar and Dadri, where rural voters hold the key, about 3,90,000 urban voters out of total 4,14, 198 will play a decisive role in Noida. The constituency has 1,25,000 rural voters spread over 42 villages. In Dadri and Jewar, “old horses” have been told to contest.
Parties have also seen voter turnout in Noida has been low. They hope new faces may bring in the change. In the last general election in 2009, it was between 35 and 45%. The turnout in rural areas was as high as 65% in the same election. “We will hold drives to urge urban voters to vote,” said district election officer Sushil Kumar.
Not Professional Netas
Like BJP’s Mahesh Sharma, the Congress’s Chauhan runs a hospital in Noida. Sunil Chaudhary joined the SP only a year ago. Khanna is known for his involvement with a parents’ association and a chemist’s body. The other nominees are also new to electoral politics.