Buoyed by the recent victory in all five assembly seats in Ghaziabad district, the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has requested the party leadership to give at least one ministerial berth to one of the winning candidates from Ghaziabad. Local leaders said a ministerial berth will help represent the city better in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
On March 11, all five BJP candidates — Sunil Sharma from Sahibabad, Dr Manju Shivach from Modi Nagar, Nand Kishor from Loni, Ajit Tyagi from Murad Nagar and Atul Garg from Ghaziabad city — won. The party went on to get a majority in the assembly elections.
“The city unit has recently requested the party leadership to provide us with at least one ministerial berth. The performance of all candidates has been appreciated and our workers also worked hard in the elections,” said Ajay Sharma, city president, BJP.
According to party sources, there are three names in contention if the district’s MLAs get a ministerial berth in the UP cabinet. These include experienced candidates such as Sunil Sharma and Atul Garg apart from first timer Dr Manju Shivach who is the only woman candidate fielded by any major party in the district. Among the three, Sharma is the only candidate to have won twice.
This is the first time that BJP candidates have made a clean sweep of all five seats. During the last elections in 2012, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won four out of five seats. However, all their sitting MLAs lost this time. In 1951 and 1957, Congress candidates had won all three seats of Ghaziabad, which was still a part of Meerut district at the time.
The first BJP candidate to win a seat in Ghaziabad was Baleshwar Tyagi who also went on to become a UP cabinet minister. He won the Ghaziabad seat in 1991, 1993 and 1996. However, Sharma had also won in 2007 from Ghaziabad when it was one of the three existing seats along with Murad Nagar and Modi Nagar.
“Sunil Sharma is a popular candidate in Ghaziabad and Sahibabad. He also won with a record margin in the entire state this time. However, the other candidates have also performed well and worked hard. Any one of them getting a ministerial berth would benefit the district. What worked the most in their favour was the ‘Modi wave’ and the BSP and Samajwadi Party giving tickets to Muslim candidates. This also had a polarising effect,” said Rajendra Tyagi, BJP councillor in Ghaziabad.