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Will exodus issue polarise voters in Mriganka’s favour?

lucknow Updated: Feb 12, 2017 17:48 IST
Hukum Singh

Mriganka Singh, daughter of BJP leader Hukum Singh, addressing party workers.(File Photo)

Senior BJP leader Hukum Singh’s daughter, Mriganka Singh has been declared party candidate on the much talked about Kairana seat. She had never been in active politics but always helped her father in politics. Now in fray, she faces a challenge from her cousin, Anil Chauhan who is contesting on RLD ticket after being denied ticket by the BJP.

The region goes to polls in phase 1 of UP Assembly elections on February 11.

Kairana made news after BJP MP Hukum Singh raised the issue of ‘Hindu exodus’ from the town in June last year and released a list of over 300 migrated Hindu families. He indirectly held the growing influence of a particular community in the town and their excesses against Hindus responsible for the ‘exodus’.

He released a similar list of families from neighbouring Kandhala town and said all major towns of west UP were facing the problem of ‘Hindu exodus’.

The MP’s charges created a hullabaloo in political circles and the state government denied charges after conducting a survey of families mentioned on the list. On the other hand, BJP’s senior leaders also expressed concern over exodus and indicated that it would be made an election issue.

Meanwhile, leaders of rival parties targeted Hukum Singh for raising the issue and claimed he did it only to prepare political ground for his daughter Mriganka Singh.

Denying the charges, Singh reiterated that he raised the issue out of social obligation and it had nothing to do with politics.

Samajwadi Party’s district president in Shamli, Kiranpal Kashyap , said: “Ticket to Mriganka Singh has confirmed our speculation that Singh made a calculative political move by raising a false issue of exodus to prepare political ground before bringing his daughter into active politics and polarise voters behind her to ensure victory.”

He, however, claimed it won’t help her much because the issue had no truth.

Notwithstanding Kashyap’s claim, Sanjay Rajput, president of Vyapar Sangh claimed: “The feeling of Hindu and Muslim exists in the town and exodus is a fact because we have faced it in the past few years.”

The constituency has over three lakh voters and Muslims form almost 50% of the voters. Hukum Singh won this seat in the 2012 Assembly election and Nahid Hasan of Samajwadi Party wrested it from the BJP in the by-election when Singh vacated it after being elected MP from Kairana Lok Sabha seat in 2014.

His nephew Anil Chauhan lost by a few hundred votes and therefore he was a strong contender again for the ticket. But the BJP denied him ticket and he is now contesting on RLD’s ticket against his cousin Mriganka.

It would be interesting to see whether people support the issue of ‘exodus’ by electing Mriganka or reject it by casting their votes in favour of SP candidate Nahid Hasan and RLD’s Anil Chauhan.