With two more days left to file nominations, Monday and Tuesday, two of the UP candidates arrived at district election office on Saturday to file their papers. One of them was former Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MLA Madan Bhaiya who arrived a day after his party rolled out its list of candidates and decided to go solo as the proposed alliance with the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) did not work out.
Elected an MLA from the Khekra assembly segment in Baghpat in 2007, the 57-year-old Bhaiya lost to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate after he contested the Loni assembly segment of Ghaziabad in 2012. He was among those named in the RLD list on Friday evening and arrived to file his nomination early on Saturday. He arrived in an SUV, flanked by supporters. A heavy contingent of policemen stationed outside the district election office asked him to have the beacon on his vehicle removed.
“I don’t see much challenge from the opposition candidates. All I know is that I’m to contest this seat on an RLD ticket and have no clue about alliance talks in the opposition camp,” Bhaiya said.
In his affidavit, he disclosed several criminal and court cases against his name in Delhi, Loni and Meerut. However, he got bail in all these cases. He also pegged his family’s assets at Rs10.96 crore. The affidavit says he quit studies while in the first year of his bachelor’s degree from CCS University, Meerut.
The other candidate who arrived to file his nomination paper was Sudhan Rawat. Formerly with the Samajwadi Party (SP), he recently switched camps and got a BSP ticket to contest the Muradnagar seat in the upcoming UP polls. He fought the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on an SP ticket, but lost. He also contested the mayoral polls for the local municipality on an SP ticket in 2012, but lost to BJP’s Teluram Kamboj. Kamboj passed away later.
Having suffered losses in the two previous polls that he contested, Sudhan is hopeful of a turnaround this time. He was flanked by his wife Vibha as he filed his nomination paper on Saturday. He said he left the SP as he was upset with the bitter power struggle within the party.
“Infighting in the SP has been on for some time and the issues hit the surface a couple of months back. The morale of the cadre, right down to the grassroots was down, and the workers seemed to have lost the stomach for a fight. I sensed the disillusionment within and decided to join the BSP,” he said.
“The BSP is a disciplined party and people have fond recollections of the development work undertaken by the Mayawati government. I hope the strong pro-BSP sentiment in the area will help me win the seat this time,” he said.
He declared his total moveable and immovable assets at over Rs 30 crore. His affidavit says he holds a bachelor’s degree.
Most of the candidates to have filed their nomination papers so far are from the SP and BSP. Those from the Congress and the BJP are expected to file theirs by January 24.
In Gautam Budh Nagar, a total of five nominations were filed from across political affiliations on Saturday, but not one from the major parties in fray.