Among the final 53 contesting candidates in Ghaziabad, many are contesting as independent candidates or on tickets from smaller parties. They are pitted against heavyweights from Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal but have promised to give them a tough fight.
“It will be an uphill task but I am still contesting. I have got a ticket from a small party and entered politics after quitting my job. I have also been into social service and will work for all sections of the society. The name of a party is a must to go to a larger platform and also to increase resources. For an individual, it becomes difficult to campaign and contest,” Anshu Money Dhawan of Vasundhara, the only woman contesting the Sahibabad seat, said.
She entered politics after giving up her job as a quality manager with an IT company in Noida and then her job in the real estate sector.
Likewise, the lesser known Sakhi Samaj Party, which was registered in 2013, is fielding Nasim from Loni. She is the only candidate contesting from Ghaziabad on her party ticket.
“We fielded three candidates in UP during the 2014 general elections but they could not win. This is our first assembly election and we decided to field a woman. We will give a tough fight to other candidates and will go to the doorstep of every household to appeal for votes. We have minimal resources but we will fight for safety and security of women and also the development of Loni,” Bhola Das, national president of the party, said.
However, the performance of lesser known parties was dismal in the last elections. In 2012, a total of 222 parties had contested the elections, besides independent candidates. The majority of the seats went to national and regional parties. Six independent candidates won, whereas parties such as the Peace Party, Ittehad-E-Millait Council and Quami Ekta Dal won a total of seven seats.
Chaman Singh, state president of Apni Zindagi Apna Dal, a new party, says that it is time to get rid of old parties who focus on winning rather than resolving issues.
“Performance of lesser known parties is not encouraging. Still, we are projecting our candidates because we are not appealing for votes on the basis of caste, community or religion. We will hold door-to-door meetings with voters to make them more aware. Contesting elections against bigger parties is tough but we will work at ground level and try to convince voters,” Singh said.
His party has fielded Navneet Sharma, a postgraduate in business administration, from Sahibabad. He is pitted against Amarpal Sharma from Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance and Jalaluddin Siddiqui from Bahujan Samaj Party.
“I am contesting as I worked hard on the ground. People have seen my work in the time of need. I am not bothered about the heavyweight candidates or big banner parties. I am relying on my personal touch with voters,” Dishant Tyagi, who is contesting as an independent candidate from Murad Nagar seat, said.
His name was announced from Samajwadi Party in an earlier list but he was not given a ticket. Later, the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance decided to field former Ghaziabad MP Surendra Prakash Goel.