While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have brought in their top guns and star campaigners to woo voters in Noida, Sunil Chaudhary, the Samajwadi party (SP)-Congress alliance candidate, is going it alone.
Raghwendra Dube, district secretary and spokesperson of SP’s Gautam Budh Nagar unit, said Chaudhary is not getting the required backing from the leaders of his party nor from those in the Congress.
He demanded that senior leaders, including UP chief minister Alhilesh Yadav, Mata Prasad Pandey, Akhilesh’s wife and MP Dimple Yadav, former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav (leader of Rashtriya Janta Dal, which supports SP) and Congress leaders, should address rallies in Noida to win voters. Dube has written to his party seeking time from its star campaigners.
“The party leaders have not as yet given time for any rally in Noida by a senior leader. Now, we have only 5-6 days left till polling day. We do not think it is possible for anyone to address a rally without preprations in advance,” Dube said .
Sunil Chaudhary, meanwhile, is busy campaigning with his supporters in villages and urban areas.
“I had requested for rallies by the chief minister and other leaders, but they have not given any time. I am not bothered, because my God — Salasar Balaji (Lord Hanuman’s childhood name) — and my supporters are with me. I will win because locals are supporting me,” said Chaudhary, who who had fought the 2012 assembly elections for SP from the same seat.
In that election, he had secured the third position with 42,071 votes of a total of 2,09,705 votes polled. The seat was won by BJP’s Dr Mahesh Sharma with 77,319 votes, while the BSP came second with 49,643 votes.
This time, Chaudhary is competing against BJP’s Pankaj Singh, son of home minister Rajnath Singh, and BSP’s Ravikant Mishra, a first-timer from this segment.
The Gautam Budh Nagar district has three assembly constituencies — Noida, Dadri and Jewar — and the district will go to polls on February 11. The results will be out on March 11.
Chaudhary’s rival from the BJP has already invited senior leader Keshav Prasad Maurya, party’s Dalit face MP Udit Raj, and home minister Rajnath Singh. MP Satish Gautam has already sought votes for Pankaj Singh. BJP president Amit Shah is also slated to address a rally on Sunday in Noida.
For BSP candidate Mishra, the party’s national general secretary Nasimuddin Siddiqui has already addressed a gathering in the city. Other senior leaders of the party are also campaigning for him.
Surendra Nagar, Rajyasabha MP from SP, is the only top brass who came to campaign briefly for Chaudhary.
SP workers said they had invited Lalu Prasad Yadav for a rally to canvas the votes of many eastern UP and people from Bihar living in Noida.
“It seems our top leadership is deliberately avoiding Noida. In other districts, the CM and other top leaders are campaigning.The party does not seem to be serious about the Noida seat,” said a SP worker, requesting anonymity.