In the battle of the Gujjars in Dadri, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP)’s Tejpal Singh Nagar won by over 80,000 votes on Saturday. He defeated two-time MLA and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Satveer Singh Gurjar.
The win also assumes significance as BSP chief Mayawati hails from Badalpur village in Dadri. Gurjar, a two-time MLA from Dadri, had won the 2012 assembly polls by defeating BJP’s Nawab Singh Nagar. In 2007 assembly polls as well, Gurjar secured 75,346 votes to defeat Nawab Singh Nagar who got 50,923 votes.
Popularly known as Tejpal Master, Nagar plans to enrich the quality of education in the constituency to replace the ‘bullets and guns’ culture.
Flanked by his supporters outside the vote counting hall in Phase-2 of Noida, Nagar said, “Our area has never seen any development and previous governments never recognised the sufferings of the people. People have given me their mandate and I am privileged to serve them.”
He further said, “My priority would be upgrading the education standard and institutes in Dadri to replace the culture of guns and bullets given to them by the previous regimes of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.”
Nagar being a member of the Gujjar community, received overwhelming support from all quarters and secured 1,41,226 votes. Gurjar managed to get 61.049 votes while the Congress-SP alliance candidate Samir Bhati secured 39,975 votes.
With 4, 40,424 voters, Dadri assembly segment had recorded a 62.11% voter turnout on February 11 in the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh. A total of 2, 45,562 men, 1,94,818 women and 45 from the third gender voted in this constituency.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh had held a rally at Bisada to campaign for Nagar. Bisada had made headlines after Mohammed Ikhlaq was lynched in September 2015 for allegedly storing beef for consumption.
As all four main candidates belong to the Gujjar community, this had led to tight contest for the seat. Dadri constituency has Gujjars in majority followed by Rajputs. The assembly segment also has a sizeable chunk of Muslim and Jatav voters.
Gurjar is a two-time MLA from Dadri. He is the sitting MLA and wrested the seat by defeating BJP’s Nawab Singh Nagar in 2012 assembly polls. In 2007 assembly polls as well, Gurjar secured 75,346 votes to defeat Nawab Singh Nagar who got 50,923 votes.
Hundreds of his supporters chanted slogans outside till the final results were declared. On being declared the winner, Nagar came out and celebrated Holi with his supporters.
Nagar said other parties had a belief that BJP would face a rout in Uttar Pradesh because of demonetisation, but it turned out a “blessing in disguise”.
“Banning notes was a decision to uplift the poor people, and in return they have chosen us to power. Modi ji jaante thay iss se kranti aayegi aur wo aaj humne dekhi (Modi ji knew demonetisation would bring a revolution and today we have seen it).”
Gurjar said, “BJP played polarised voters in the state. The voters were divided on the basis of Hindus and Muslims, due to which I lost this election. I am thankful to those who supported me. By remaining in the opposition, I will work for them and others as well.”