Jhabrera assembly constituency in Haridwar district is reserved for scheduled caste and has a sizable Muslim population.
The constituency came into existence after delimitation of assembly segments in 2008. It was crafted out of slashing areas of adjoining Iqbalpur and Manglor constituencies. Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) nominee won first election from the new assembly constituency in 2012.
Poor road condition, water and power crisis are some of the key poll issues in the constituency. Caste engineering, however, will play a curtail role in deciding the winner.
The BSP, a major player in this assembly segment, is likely to face a tough contest from the ruling Congress and the main opposition BJP in the state poll to be held early next year. The party led by former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has denied ticket to sitting MLA Hari Dass.
The three-time MLA is likely to contest as an Independent even as the Congress and the BJP are trying to woo him.
Dass won 2002 and 2007 assembly elections as BSP candidate from Landhaura constituency that was dissolved after delimitation and its areas were added to neighboring Manglor and Khanpur constituencies.
The BSP has named Bhagmal as its candidate from the constituency.
“I have offers from both BJP and Congress but yet to take a call. It will be finalized only after meeting with my supporters,” said Dass.
“Voters in my constituency know that I am available for dawn to dusk as and when they ask for. I seldom spend time with my family. My personal contact with voters will clinch the deal for me in 2017 if I decide to contest,” he said.
Rajpal, who lost to Dass in 2012, is looking for renomination from the Congress. BJP’s Vaijyanti Mala, who came third in 2012, is a strong contender for the party ticket.
“The BJP has fair chance of victory especially with growing support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and indifferent attitude of the state’s Congress government towards Jhabrera,” BJP state unit spokesperson Virendra Singh Bisht said.