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2024 Lok Sabha polls: Nomination process begins for 3rd phase, focus shifts from Jat belt to Yadav land in Uttar Pradesh

Apr 12, 2024 10:49 PM IST

The BJP won seven of these 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 and eight seats in 2019. The phase is crucial for the Samajwadi Party, too, as Muslim-Yadav equations will be on test

The third phase of the Lok Sabha elections featuring 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh marks the shift of focus from Jat belt in the first two phases to Yadav land where Yadav-Muslim equations will be tested.

BJP supporters during a public meeting for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. (PTI PHOTO)

The 10 Lok Sabha seats going to polls in the third phase are Sambhal, Hathras, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Badaun, Aonla and Bareilly. There were eight seats each in the first and second phases.

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The nomination process for this phase began on Friday. The polling is scheduled for May 7.

Riding on the Modi wave, the BJP won seven of the 10 seats in 2014 and eight seats in 2019. The only seats it could not win were Sambhal and Mainpuri in 2019 and Mainpuri, Badaun and Firozabad in 2014. They all went to the SP.

The third phase introduces the significance of OBCs, including Yadavs, Lodhs, and Kachhi/Shakya/Murao communities as deciding factors in many constituencies, alongside the continued influence of Muslims and Jats in certain others.

Etah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Badaun and Sambhal have a significant presence of Yadav voters who, along with Muslims, become a formidable vote bank.

Muslim voters are dominant in Sambhal, Bareilly, Aonla, Pilibhit and Badaun. Etah, Mainpuri, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra and Firozabad also have Muslim voters from 5.7% (Mainpuri) to 12.6% (Firozabad).

Lodh voters are decisive in Etah and Kachhi/Shakya/Murao have a sizeable presence in Etah, Badaun and Mainpuri.

The SP has never won in Hathras, Fatehpur Sikri, and Bareilly. Similarly, the BSP has never been able to open its account in Etah, Badaun, Aonla, Bareilly, Mainpuri, Agra and Hathras.

SAMBHAL

An old Yadav stronghold, Sambhal sent SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav to the Lok Sabha twice in 1998 and 1999 and another SP veteran Ram Gopal Yadav once in 2004. The BSP won the seat twice in 1996 and 2009.

The lotus here blossomed only once in 2014 while the Congress last won this seat in 1984.

In 2019, veteran SP leader Shafiqur Rahaman Barq won.After the demise of its sitting MP, the SP has fielded his grandson Zia-ur-Rahman Barq. The BJP has relied on its old candidate to reclaim the seat. The BSP has fielded a Muslim candidate Shaulat Ali, making the contest triangular.

HATHRAS

The BJP has been winning this seat, reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC), without a break since 1991. In 2009, the RLD won this seat as a pre-poll ally of the BJP. The Congress last won here in 1971 while SP and BSP have never won.

In 2019, BJP’s Rajvir Singh Diler defeated the SP’ s Ramji Lal Suman. In 2024, the BJP has fielded Anoop Valmiki while the SP and BSP have given the ticket to Jasveer Valmiki and Hembabu Dhangar, respectively.

AGRA

The BJP has won this reserved seat five times since 1991, three times in a row since 2009.

The BJP’s SP Baghel, Union minister of state, won the Agra seat in 2019. The BJP has repeated the same candidate this time. The SP has chosen Suresh Chandra Kardan while the BSP has fielded Pooja Amrohi.

FATEHPUR SIKRI

The BJP won this twice in 2019 and 2014 and the BSP once in 2009. In 2019, the BJP’s Raj Kumar Chahar won this seat, defeating the Congress’s Raj Babbar. Chahar polled 64.23% votes.

The BJP has retained Raj Kumar Chahar and the Congress has fielded Ramnath Sikarwar. The BSP has relied on a Brahmin candidate Ram Niwas Sharma.

FIROZABAD

A part of Yadav land, this seat elected SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in 2009 and his cousin Akshay Yadav in 2014. The Congress’s Raj Babbar defeated SP’s Dimple Yadav in a by-poll in 2009. For 2024, the BJP has not announced the candidate yet while the SP has repeated Akshay Yadav.

MAINPURI

A Yadav citadel, Mainpuri sent SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav to the Lok Sabha at least five times. The SP has been winning this seat since 1996. The Congress last won here in 1984. In 2019, Mulayam Singh Yadav won by defeating BJP’s Prem Singh Shakya. In 2024, BJP’s Jaiveer Singh is challenging the SP’s Dimple Yadav.

ETAH

The BJP won here six times since 1989. In between, the SP won this seat twice. In 2009, Kalyan Singh won as an independent supported by the SP. BJP’s Rajveer Singh, son of Kalyan Singh, won this seat in 2014 and 2019. The party has made him its candidate again in 2024.

BUDAUN

The SP won the Budaun seat continuously from 1996 to 2014, but it was wrested by the BJP in 2019. This time, BJP has replaced the sitting MP Sanghmitra Maurya with Durvijay Shakya.

AONLA

The BJP has won this seat six times since 1989 and three times since 2009. The SP has won twice. The Congress won last in 1984. The Janta Dal United (JD-U) also won once in 2004.

BAREILLY

In Bareilly, the BJP has chosen to replace its eight-time MP Santosh Gangwar, who continuously won from 1989 till 2019, barring in 2009 when the Congress’ Praveen Aron defeated him by a thin margin.

In 2024, Praveen Aron is the SP-Congress alliance’s candidate while the BJP has fielded Chhatrapal Gangwar.

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