Ghaziabad: Opposition busts claims by BJP candidate of ‘winning big’ - Hindustan Times
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Ghaziabad: Opposition busts claims by BJP candidate of ‘winning big’

By, Ghaziabad
Apr 19, 2024 05:04 AM IST

Since 2009, the Ghaziabad seat has been held by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Defence minister Rajnath Singh won from there in 2009, and gen VK Singh (retired) won in 2014 and 2019

With campaigning picking up pace for in Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency, the BJP leaders have claimed that their candidate Atul Garg will win by a margin of over 700,000 votes or more.

Ghaziabad BJP candidate Atul Garg during campaigning in Loni Thursday. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Ghaziabad BJP candidate Atul Garg during campaigning in Loni Thursday. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Since 2009, the Ghaziabad seat has been held by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Defence minister Rajnath Singh won from there in 2009, and gen VK Singh (retired) won in 2014 and 2019.

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Garg is the incumbent MLA from Ghaziabad assembly seat and has also held the post of health minister in the Yogi Adityanath government during the Covid pandemic years.

The Ghaziabad parliamentary seat this time has 14 candidates in the fray and Garg, a Vaish, has a major fight on his hands from Congress candidate Dolly Sharma, a Brahmin, and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’s Nandkishor Pundhir, a Thakur.

The claims of another record margin win were made by the BJP during the recently held “prabuddh varg sammelan (intellectuals’ meet)” on March 27.

“We are expecting to win this time by a record margin of over seven lakh (700,000) votes. Garg is a local and known to people. Further, there has been an increase of about 2 lakh (200,000) new voters and they are expected to vote for the BJP. We have support from different sections of society as we have two state ministers, Sunil Sharma and Narendra Kashyap, from Ghaziabad. Above all, votes are expected in the name of Modi ji (PM Narendra Modi),” said Ajay Sharma, BJP’s Lok Sabha convener (Ghaziabad).

Sunil Sharma is sitting MLA from Sahibabad segment and included in Yogi cabinet in March while Kashyap is state minister (independent) for backward welfare and disability empowerment. The BJP leaders said that with the two leaders will help garner votes of Brahmins, Dalits and OBCs in Ghaziabad

The BJP this time also has RLD as its alliance partner in western UP.

“If the polling remains about 60%, the margin will further increase to about eight lakh votes. The traditional votes of the BSP is also expected to come to us. However, there is a hiccup , Ghaziabad goes to polls on April 26 which is a Friday and many will go to their offices and the turnout may also be affected by the soaring temperature,” Garg said.

As per the Election Commission of India (ECI), with a polling percentage of 56.94 in 2014, BJP candidate gen VK Singh (retired) won by a margin of 567,260 votes.

With a polling percentage of 55.86 in 2019, Singh (retired) won by a margin of 501,500 votes, the ECI records showed.

The opposition parties and candidates said the BJP candidate is on weak footing this time.

“The leaders are again playing ‘jumla (false promises)’ and resorting to psychological games to misguide voters. We along with the SP have our vote bank while the BSP have theirs. Majority of Muslims (about 600,000) and Dalits (about 410,000), besides others, will not go to the BJP. There is huge discontent among Kshatriyas too. So, in no way can the BJP candidate claim victory. Garg was not seen among the public during the Covid pandemic while he was UP health minister and his works in past two years as MLA is hardly known to people. So, he is on weak footing,” said Vinit Tyagi, district president of the Congress.

The BSP leaders said that the BJP can claim whatever it wants.

“They can make any claims -- earlier they claimed to bring back black money. The BSP is on sound ground in Dhaulana, Loni and Ghaziabad segments and also getting support from our traditional vote bank and Muslims, besides others. The issue of Ram temple has also fizzled out,” said Dayaram Sain, district president of BSP.

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