A total of 19 candidates filed their nomination papers on Monday, the penultimate day of filing nominations for Ghaziabad’s five assembly seats. For Ghaziabad district, a total of 41 candidates have filed their nominations, the last day for which is Tuesday.
Hundreds of supporters waited on the road outside the district headquarters, which is also the election office. The police had already made arrangements to barricade the entire area. The candidates who arrived to file nominations included Amarpal Sharma from Congress, Atul Garg, Ajit Tyagi and Nand Kishor from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Haji Zakir Ali from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and independents and candidates from smaller political parties.
“People need a change from the present party. I will work for the development of the constituency. I have been working in the area for the past 20 years and have also worked along with my father,” said Ajit Tyagi, son of former minister and four-time MLA Rajpal Tyagi.
Ajit, a candidate from the Murad Nagar seat, arrived with Ghaziabad mayor Ashu Verma and former Rajya Sabha MP, Narendra Kashyap, who joined the BJP after he was expelled from the BSP last year.
Nand Kishor, a Gurjar politician from Loni, who got a ticket from the BJP, said his priority would be to make Loni safe for women and create an environment where cows can roam freely.
“If people vote for me, I pledge that goondas and land mafia will flee Loni. I want to make the area safe so that women can walk alone even at night. My priority will be to bring either a degree college or technical college to the area,” he said.
Congress candidate Amarpal Sharma, a sitting MLA who was recently expelled by the BSP, filed his nomination from the Sahibabad seat. “My priority is to bring more Ganga water to the trans-Hindon area, a sports stadium for youngsters and a degree college for the constituency. People have supported me in the past five years; there is no challenge from any other candidate,” he said, claiming complete support from Congress’ recent ally Samajwadi Party (SP).
The Congress and the SP declared an alliance on January 22. Earlier, the SP had declared names of five candidates for the five assembly seats in Ghaziabad. However, throughout the day no SP candidate arrived.
After the alliance was announced, the Congress had declared names of former MP Surendra Prakash Goel from Murad Nagar, former MLA KK Sharma from Ghaziabad, Amarpal Sharma from Sahibabad and Sher Nabi Chaman from the Loni seat.
“Our candidates will file nomination papers. The SP candidates will not file nominations as the alliance has been formed. We are hopeful of forming a government and will be working for the youth, farmers and development of state,” said Rajiv Tyagi, spokesperson, UP Congress Committee.
In July 2016, the Congress had launched the ‘27 saal UP behaal’ campaign in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. When asked about it, Tyagi said, “We are not withdrawing the slogan. It is not important for us. We are now working with a new SP under Akhilesh Yadav. We will prepare a common minimum program with SP and work for development of the state,” he added.