Assembly bypoll: Interesting fight likely as SP fields ex-MLA from U.P.’s Ghosi seat
Since the BSP often does not contest bypolls and thus it is likely to be a straight fight between the SP and the BJP on the seat
In a bid to retain Ghosi assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has declared former MLA Sudhakar Singh as its candidate from there where bypoll will be held on September 5. The seat fell vacant after the resignation of SP MLA Dara Singh Chauhan who joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last month. It is quite likely that Chauhan will be the BJP candidate from the seat.
While the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has made it clear that it will support the SP candidate, the Congress too is likely to do the same but it has yet to take a formal decision in this regard. The RLD and the Congress had been most of the time supporting the SP in bypolls since 2018 and now three parties are part of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance or INDIA coalition of the Opposition against the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Since the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) often does not contest bypolls and thus it is likely to be a straight fight between the SP and the BJP on the seat. And it will also be an OBC vs OBC contest. The battle would be interesting to watch as the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), the 2022 UP assembly ally of the SP, having influence on the seat will support the BJP candidate.
Like Dara Singh Chauhan, the SBSP has also quit the SP alliance and joined the BJP-led NDA alliance. Ghosi has a sizeable Rajbhar population--the vote bank of the SBSP. Dara Singh Chauhan was a minister in the previous Yogi Adityanath government and shortly before the 2022 U.P. assembly polls had quit his ministership and joined the SP. Akhilesh gave him the ticket from the Ghosi seat and he won.
Sudhakar Singh had won the Ghosi seat in the 2012 assembly polls as an SP candidate but lost it to BJP’s Phagu Chauhan in 2017. When the incumbent Meghalaya governor Phagu Chauhan was earlier made the governor of Bihar in 2019, Sudhakar contested the bypoll as an SP candidate and lost to BJP’s Vijay Rajbhar. When the SP gave the seat to Dara Singh Chauhan, Sudhakar Singh following the SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s decision sidestepped and did not contest.
SP national secretary Rajendra Chaudhary said, “We will win the elections as public support is with us and against the BJP.” RLD spokesperson Anil Dubey said: “We will support the SP candidate.” UP Congress president Brijlal Khabri said: “We will decide after consultation with the party high command”.
Taking a dig at the INDIA and the SP, BJP leader Navin Srivastava said: “This is the first bypoll since the Opposition decided to team up against the BJP alliance. The SP will quickly realise where it stands.” SBSP leader Arun Rajbhar said: “The SP candidate is staring at a certain defeat. The SBSP will actively campaign for the BJP candidate. In 2022, the SP won this seat with the support of the SBSP. This time they will know the reality.”
The notification for the Ghosi assembly bypoll was issued by the Election Commission on August 10. The last date for nomination filing is August 17. Voting will be held on September 5 and results will be declared on September 8.