39 candidates to contest three assembly seats in Gautam Budh Nagar

With the first phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections a fortnight away, the total number of candidates for the three seats in Gautam Budh Nagar district remained at 39 on Thursday, the last day for the withdrawal of candidature
Union home minister Amit Shah during an election campaign in Tugalpur village, Greater Noida, on Thursday. (Sunil Ghosh /HT)
Union home minister Amit Shah during an election campaign in Tugalpur village, Greater Noida, on Thursday. (Sunil Ghosh /HT)
Published on Jan 28, 2022 02:10 AM IST
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BySnehil Sinha

With the first phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections a fortnight away, the total number of candidates for the three seats in Gautam Budh Nagar district remained at 39 on Thursday, the last day for the withdrawal of candidature.

The 39 candidates will be contesting from the three assembly seats of Noida, Dadri and Jewar. Twelve candidates will contest from the Jewar seat, 13 from Noida and 14 from Dadri.

The Jewar constituency has four candidates from national parties, three candidates from registered parties other than the recognised national parties and five Independents. This assembly seat also has the highest number of candidates over 60 years of age. The seat also has the highest women’s participation with two candidates — Poonam from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Neeru Walia from the Sarva Samaj Party — in the fray here.

Dadri constituency has four candidates from national parties, six candidates from registered parties other than the recognised national parties and four Independents. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and sitting MLA Tejpal Nagar, (68), is the only candidate over 60 years of age here. Incidentally, he is also the oldest among all candidates in the three constituencies. Also, there are no women candidates contesting from the Dadri segment.

The Noida seat is expected to see an open contest of youth leaders as seven of the 13 candidates are in their 20s. Pankhuri Pathak from the Congress is the only women candidate. The constituency has four candidates from national parties, six candidates from registered parties other than the recognised national parties and three Independents. Despite having a large pool of youth leaders, sitting MLA Pankaj Singh from the BJP appears to have an advantage.

Historically, apart from the top two or three candidates in all the three constituencies, the rest had to forfeit their deposits in the elections of 2007, 2012 and 2017. Forfeiture is required if a contesting candidate fails to get a minimum one-sixth of the total votes cast.

The parties that usually get maximum votes are BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP). One exception was in 2012, when Dhirendra Singh, then a Congress candidate, was the runner-up and lost by 9,500 votes in Jewar. In 2017, Dhirendra Singh, who fought on a BJP ticket, won by a margin of over 22,000 votes and this time he is seeking a re-election from the same seat again on a ruling party ticket.

Experts say that the candidates’ list is an encouraging sign for democracy because of the increased political participation, especially from the youth, despite knowing that they may not be in a position to win.

“Better political participation is always an encouraging sign in a democracy as voters get several options. Social media plays a big role as election campaigns are going virtual. Now, more and more people are able to participate in the electoral process”, said Dr Shalini Saxena, associate professor (political science) at the Amity University in Gautam Budh Nagar.

“The online space is not a challenge for the youth today. With digital campaigns, we are moving away from the legacy politics of yesteryears. Now, voters are more approachable. It may be likely that the votes will be divided among more candidates this time, especially in an urban constituency such as Noida. Voters also have more candidates to choose from and this augurs well for democracy,” Dr Saxena added.

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