U.P. civic polls: Sangam city all set for its first-ever OBC mayor

By, Prayagraj
Dec 06, 2022 11:02 PM IST

This will be the first time in the last two-and-a-half decades that an OBC candidate will be elected Prayagraj mayor

In a first, Sangam city is all set to get its first ever mayor from other backward class (OBC), courtesy the Prayagraj’s mayoral seat getting reserved for OBC category candidate this time.

The office of the Prayagraj mayor. (HT photo)
The office of the Prayagraj mayor. (HT photo)

The move has suddenly changed the poll scenario and OBC candidates have begun lobbying with top leaders of their respective political parties to get tickets. This will be the first time in the last two-and-a-half decades that an OBC candidate will be elected Prayagraj mayor.

“After Nagar Nigam replaced Nagar Mahapalika, first mayoral elections were held in Sangam city in 1995. Earlier, Prayagraj (then Allahabad) used to have a nagar pramukh who was elected by the elected corporators and even Jawaharlal Nehru (1923 to 1925) and Lal Bahadur Shastri (1925 for short duration of 18 days), both former PMs, held the post,” claimed poll analyst MP Dube.

In 1995, the seat was reserved for women candidates and Prof Rita Bahuguna Joshi got elected as the first mayor of Sangam city to be elected directly by people. In 2000, KP Srivastava and in 2006 Ch Jitendra Nath Singh were elected as the first citizen of the city.

However, in 2012, the seat again got reserved for women and Abhilasha Gupta Nandi, the wife U.P. cabinet minister Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi, emerged as the winner in the mayoral polls. In 2017 despite being declared unreserved, Abhilasha Gupta got re-elected to the post, added Prof Dube, a former Allahabad University professor and former V-C of U.P. Rajarshi Tandon Open University.

She could have gone for a hat-trick this time but with the post getting reserved for OBC candidate means that she will not be able to enter the fray this time as she belongs to the non-OBC “Baniya” community.

“As a result, in the five mayoral polls held so far, four individuals, including three women, have held the post but none of them hailed from the OBC community,” he added.

“The decision to declare the seat of Prayagraj mayor as reserved for OBC has been taken by the government. The party would now soon decide as to who would contest the polls. However, whoever is declared as the BJP candidate will have my full support and backing,” said incumbent mayor Abhilasha Gupta Nandi.

Meanwhile, interested candidates have started efforts to get the backing of their respective political parties even though objections against the seat being reserved for OBC have been sought till December 12.

In Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former MLAs to serving corporators are vying for the ticket. BJP’s city unit president Ganesh Kesarwani said, “A total of 37 candidates have sought the tickets.”

They include former MLA Deepak Patel, Kavita Yadav, the daughter-in-law of former West Bengal governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, besides party’s Kashi Pranth regional vice-president Awadhesh Candra Gupta, regional president of party’s OBC cell Ashwani Kumar Patel, trader leader Padum Jaiswal and corporator Akhilesh Singh among others.

The Samajwadi Party also has many in the queue. Party’s district unit president Yogesh Chandra Yadav shared that those wishing to contest included Anoop Yadav, Ram Milan Yadav (father of SP candidate in the district panchayat president polls Malti Yadav), Pankaj Jaiswal and Mahendra Nishad among others.

Likewise, BSP district president TN Jaisal said five candidates had sought mayoral ticket. They included family members of former MLAs and former MPs.

Among others, member of the Uttar Pradesh Kinnar Kalyan Board and Maha Mandaleshwar of Kinnar Akhada Kaushaliya Nand Giri and Shaista Parveen, the wife of Mafioso-turned-politician and former MP Atiq Ahmad, too have declared their intention to contest the mayoral polls.


    K Sandeep Kumar is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times heading the Allahabad Bureau. He has spent over 16 years reporting extensively in Uttar Pradesh, especially Allahabad and Lucknow. He covers politics, science and technology, higher education, medical and health and defence matters. He also writes on development issues.

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