In Phase 6, Lok Sabha poll battle moves to eastern Uttar Pradesh, voting in 14 constituencies on Saturday - Hindustan Times
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In Phase 6, Lok Sabha poll battle moves to eastern Uttar Pradesh, voting in 14 constituencies on Saturday

By, Lucknow
May 24, 2024 09:49 PM IST

Role of OBC voters important; BJP had won nine seats, BSP bagged four and the SP one in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in these constituencies

The Lok Sabha poll battle moves to eastern Uttar Pradesh where 14 constituencies will vote in the sixth phase on Saturday.

Polling officials with EVMs and other election material in Prayagraj on Friday. (PTI PHOTO)
Polling officials with EVMs and other election material in Prayagraj on Friday. (PTI PHOTO)

OBC voters play a decisive role in this phase that is crucial for the NDA, INDIA bloc and the BSP. The BJP had won nine of these 14 seats and is looking to regain those it lost in 2019. The BSP had won four seats and the SP one five years ago.

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The 14 constituencies that will vote on Saturday include Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Ambedkarnagar, Shrawasti, Dumariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Lalganj (SC), Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr (SC), and Bhadohi. A bypoll will be held in the Gainsari assembly constituency in Balrampur district.

In 2019, the BJP won the Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Machhlishahr (SC), and Bhadohi seats. The BSP bagged four seats -- Ambedkarnagar, Shrawasti and Lalganj and Jaunpur. The SP retained Azamgarh but lost it in the 2022 bypoll.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP bagged 13 seats and the SP won Azamgarh.

There are 162 candidates in the fray for 14 Lok Sabha seats this time.

The electoral fate of former Union minister Maneka Gandhi (the BJP’s Sultanpur candidate), Nishad party leader Praveen Nishad (the BJP’s Sant Kabir Nagar candidate), MLC Saket Mishra (the BJP’s Shravasti candidate), BSP rebel Ritesh Pandey (the BJP’s Ambedkarnagar candidate) and actor- turned politician Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua (the BJP’s Azamgarh candidate) will be decided in this phase.

Among Opposition leaders, former UP minister Lalji Verma is the SP candidate from Ambedkarnagar, former minister Ram Prasad Chaudhary is the SP candidate from Basti , Dharmendra Yadav the SP nominee from Azamgarh, Mayawati’s former aide Babu Singh Kushwaha the SP contestant from Jaunpur, Bhishm Shankar Tiwari, son of gangster-turned-politician Hari Shankar Tiwari is the SP pick in Domariyaganj. SP leader Ujjwal Raman Singh is contesting the Allahabad seat on the Congress ticket. Lalitesh Pati Tripathi is in the fray in Bhadohi seat on the Trinamool Congress ticket.

The BJP has continued its alliance with the Apna Dal (S) led by Anupriya Patel, Nishad party headed by Sanjay Nishad and the SBSP led by Om Prakash Rajbhar. The SP has partnered with the Congress to regain its traditional strongholds.

The SP has fielded candidates for 12 seats, allotting the Allahabad seat to the Congress and the Bhadohi seat to Trinamool Congress.

Going solo, the BSP has played the social engineering card by fielding OBC- Upper Caste- Dalit and Muslim candidates.

OBC voters, including Yadavs, Kurmis, Nishads, Pals, Kushwaha, Baghels, Prajapatis, Kachhis and Sainis, as well as the Dalit Jatavs, Pasis, and Koris play a decisive role in the east U.P constituency. The upper caste Brahmin and Rajput voters are spread equally in Purvanchal constituencies.

The Muslim vote is key in Sultanpur, Allahabad, Azamgarh Domariyaganj and Ambedkarnagar.

A total of 2,70,69,874, voters -- 1,43,30,361 men, 1,27,38,257 women and 1256 third gender – are eligible to exercise their franchise in the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Nine candidates are contesting from Sultanpur , 26 from Pratapgarh, 15 from Phulpur, 14 from Allahabad, eight from Ambedkarnagar, 12 from Shravasti, six from Domariyaganj, nine from Basti, 11 from Sant Kabir Nagar, seven from Lalganj, nine from Azamgarh, 14 from Jaunpur, 12 from Machhlishahar (SC) and 10 from Bhadohi.

SULTANPUR

Former Union minister Maneka Gandhi is aiming for her ninth entry into the Lok Sabha, the second time from Sultanpur, a seat that her son Varun Gandhi had won in the 2014 Lok sabha election. She is pitted against former minister Ram Bhuwal Nishad of the SP and Udayraj Verma of the BSP.

PRATAPGARH

The BJP has fielded its sitting MP Sangam Lal Gupta against the Samajwadi Party’s SP Singh Patel and Prathmesh Mishra of the BSP.

PHULPUR

The constituency once represented by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as well as another former PM VP Singh is set to witness a triangular contest among BJP MLA Praveen Patel Amarnath Maurya of the SP and the BSP’s Jagannath Pal.

ALLAHABAD

Once a Congress bastion that sent two Prime Ministers to parliament — Lal Bahadur Shastri and VP Singh as well as former UP chief minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna — is witnessing a contest between political heirs. Ujjawal Raman Singh, son of SP leader Rewati Raman Singh, is the Congress candidate while Neeraj Tripathi, son of former West Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, is the BJP nominee. The BSP has fielded Ramesh Patel.

AMBEDKARNAGAR

The constituency (then known as Akbarpur) that sent BSP chief Mayawati thrice to parliament is witnessing a three-way contest among sitting BSP MP Ritesh Pandey who defected to the BJP, SP candidate Lalji Verma and BSP candidate Qamar Hayat Ansari.

SHRAVASTI

The BSP won the seat in 2019. To regain the seat, the BJP has fielded MLC Saket Mishra, son of Nripendra Mishra, former principal secretary to PM Narendra Modi and current chairman of the Ram Temple construction committee. The SP has chosen Ramshiromani Verma who won the 2019 election on the BSP ticket. The BSP has fielded Moinuddin Ahmad Khan.

DOMARIYAGANJ

BJP candidate Jagadambika Pal, who won the seat in 2009, 2014 and 2019, is aiming for a fourth term. The SP has fielded Bhism Shankar alias Kushal Tiwari. Nadeem Mirza is the BSP nominee.

BASTI

The BJP’s sitting MP Harish Dwivedi is pitted against SP’s Ram Prasad Chaudhary and the BSP’s Luv Kusha Patel.

SANT KABIR NAGAR

The BJP has fielded sitting MP Praveen Nishad. He is facing the SP’s Laksmikant alias Pappu Nishad and the BSP’s Nadeem Ashraf.

LALGANJ

After the defection of sitting party MP Sangeet Azad to BJP, the BSP has fielded Indu Chaudhary, an assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University. The BJP has chosen Neelam Sonkar, the 2014 winner. The SP has picked former MP Daroga Prasad Saroj.

AZAMGARH

The prestige of the Yadav family is at stake in the constituency that elected SP patriach Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2014 and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in 2019. The SP has fielded family member Dharmendra Yadav, who was defeated in the June 2022 Lok Sabha bypoll by sitting BJP MP Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua. The BSP has fielded Mahsood Ahmed.

JAUNPUR

The seat was in the news after the BSP gave the party ticket to Shrikala Reddy Singh, wife of gangster- turned-politician Dhananjay Singh. Later, Shrikala withdrew from the contest, announcing support to the BJP candidate Kripa Shankar Singh, a former Maharashtra minister. The BSP later fielded its sitting MP Shyam Singh Yadav. The SP has nominated Babu Singh Kushwaha.

MACHHLISHAHR (SC)

The BJP has retained its sitting MP BP Saroj while the SP has fielded Supreme Court lawyer Priya Saroj, daughter of former MP Tufani Saroj. The BSP has chosen former bureaucrat Kripa Shankar Saroj.

BHADOHI

The BJP denied the ticket to its sitting MP Ramesh Bind and fielded Vinod Kumar Bind, the Nishad party MLA from Majhawan. Ramesh Bind joined SP that has fielded him from Mirzapur. INDIA bloc ally TMC candidate Lalitesh Pati Tripathi is contesting the seat while the BSP has fielded Harihar Chauhan.

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