Though cash-for-query scam led to dismissal of two BSP MPs and prompted the by-election in Mirzapur-Bhadhoi and Sonebhadra parliamentary constituencies, corruption is no issue in the by-poll for these two constituencies.
The two Parliamentary constituencies Mirzapur-Bhadhoi and Sonebhadra were represented by the BSP candidates Narinder Kushawaha and Lal Chand Kole, who won these seats respectively in the 2004 parliamentary poll. However, these two MPs were among about a dozen other MPs who were caught in a sting operation, accepting bribe for raising specific questions in Parliament. Surprisingly, corruption is no issue in the by-poll for these two constituencies, which go to poll simultaneously with the assembly poll on May 3.
The BSP has fielded a Brahmin candidate Romesh Dubey from Bhadhoi-Mirzapur parliamentary constituency, Congress has fielded Shaukat Ali Ansari, SP has fielded Ram Rati Bind and BJP has fielded Aasa Ram Yadav. Besides, Sunil Shastri son of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, is also in the fray from this constituency. Seema Parihar, first wife of dreaded dacoit Nirbhay Gujjar is also contesting on Indian Justice Party ticket from Bhodhoi-Mirzapur parliamentary constituency.
"Corruption is no issue here — the entire politics is based on caste," rued BSP candidate Romesh Dubey.
For Congress candidate, Shaukat Ali Ansari, Bhadhoi-Mirzapur parliamentary constituency would repeat the 80's performance. As Bhadhoi has a sizeable Muslim population the Congress star campaigner Rahul Gandhi would visit this constituency.
"Corruption is no issue here — we wonder whether it is caste or religion which dominates the poll scenario," Rahat Alam at Mirzapur said and further added, "the seats fell vacant as our MPs were caught accepting money but the corruption issue disappeared in the poll campaign."
Mirzapur-Bhadhoi parliamentary constituency consists of five assembly segments of Bhadhoi, Gyanpur and Aurai of district Sant Ravidass Nagar (Bhadhoi) and five assembly segments of Chhanbe and Mirzapur city of district Mirzapur.
Similarly, Sonebhadra parliamentary constituency consists of three assembly segments of district Mirzapur like Chunar, Rajghar and Majhwan and two assembly segments of district Sonebhadra like Dudi and Robertsganj. The candidates in the fray from different parties include Udit Raj of Indian Justice Party, Bhai Lal Kole (BSP), Sudhakar Chamar (Congress), Ram Sakal (BJP) and Pakodi Lal Kole (SP).