Mohanlalganj: Rapid Urbanisation tilts the election ball game in the largely rural constituency - Hindustan Times

Mohanlalganj: Rapid Urbanisation tilts the election ball game in the largely rural constituency

May 02, 2024 10:01 PM IST

Though the rural voter base still far exceeds the urban count, Sarojini Nagar and Bakshi Ka Talab assembly constituencies are witnessing fast-paced urbanisation and the emergence of a new middle class.

LUCKNOW: The changing demographic profile of the Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha constituency (which is reserved for Schedule Caste), has also altered the dynamics of its voters over the past decade. The increased voter turnout in the last two Lok Sabha elections has contributed to the BJP winning the seat consecutively.

For representation (Sourced)
For representation (Sourced)

The Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha constituency comprises three Scheduled Caste reserved assembly seats, including Mohanlalganj and Malihabad in Lucknow district, and Siddhauli assembly seat in Sitapur, as well as two general seats, Sarojini Nagar and Bakshi Ka Talab (BKT) in Lucknow. The urban and floating voters of Sarojini Nagar and BKT assembly segments have consistently played a crucial role in determining the outcome of Lok Sabha elections, and this trend is expected to continue in the 2024 polls as well.

Till 2007 assembly polls, Lucknow district had eight assembly seats—Mohanlalganj, Mahona, Malihabad, Lucknow East, Lucknow West, Lucknow Central, Lucknow Cantt, and Sarojini Nagar. However, the Election Commission carved out two new assembly segments, Lucknow North and Bakshi Ka Talab (BKT), in 2009 and scrapped the Mahona seat. During this process, many urban areas such as Gomti Nagar Extension, Janakipuram Extension, Chinhat, and Gudamba were added to BKT. Similarly, several urban areas of Lucknow Cantt were added to the Sarojini Nagar assembly segment.

Since the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Sarojini Nagar assembly segment has seen an increase of 84,473 voters mainly urban voters, including 5,711 first-time voters, while the BKT assembly segment added 71,492 voters, including 6,903 first-time voters aged between 18 and 19. In contrast, the three rural assembly seats—Malihabad, Mohanlalganj, and Siddhauli—saw increases of 28,698, 19,968, and 18,454 voters, respectively, including 4,023, 4,014, and 4,631 first-time voters.

Comparatively, Sarojini Nagar and BKT together added 1,55,965 voters, which is at least 88,845 more voters than the combined additions in Malihabad, Mohanlalganj, and Siddhauli (67,120).

“Although the BJP secured victories in all five seats in the 2022 assembly elections, the party holds an advantage in the Sarojini Nagar and BKT assembly segments due to the large number of general and backward caste voters,” said Deepak Kannaujiya, a political expert from the region.

He emphasised, “Sarojini Nagar and BKT, with their significant populations of new and migrated residents, mainly from eastern UP, will once again play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha polling on May 20.”

Kannaujiya said that BJP candidate Kaushal Kishore secured victories in 2014 and 2019, defeating BSP candidate RK Chaudhary and SP-BSP alliance candidate CL Verma, respectively. However, his winning margin decreased from 1.46 lakh to 90,204 from 2014 to 2019, indicating a tougher challenge for him to secure a third consecutive win.

In the 2024 election, RK Chaudhary returns to the fray against Kaushal Kishore as the SP candidate of the INDI alliance, while Rajesh Kumar is contesting on the BSP ticket. RK Chaudhary had also contested the Lok Sabha polls in Mohanlalganj in 2019 on a Congress ticket but secured only 60,069 votes and finished third.

Another political analyst Jai Prakash Singh said Dalit voters (38.7%) including 21 % Pasi and 14.5% Jatav voters played a crucial role in Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha seat. “With Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha constituency having large share of Pasi caste, all major parties, fields Pasi candidates from here,” Singh explained.

He further elaborated that the three rural assembly segments of Malihabad, Mohanlalganj, and Siddhauli are SC reserved assembly segments and have historically been Dalit-dominated. However, votes in all three assembly segments are distributed almost equally among the three major candidates, all from the Pasi community. On the other hand, the urban and semi-urban segments of Sarojini Nagar and BKT emerge as decisive factors, with a significant portion of 16.6% upper-caste voters, including Brahmins (8.3%), Kshatriyas (7.3%), and Kayasthas (1%), concentrated in these areas.

In the previous Lok Sabha election, the BJP candidate secured 49.27% (3,19,429 votes) from Sarojini Nagar and BKT, while the SP-BSP alliance candidate received 93,603 less votes to the winner, proving decisive as the latter won with a margin of 90,229 votes.

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