‘Son-rise’ in Allahabad amid battle of legacies - Hindustan Times
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‘Son-rise’ in Allahabad amid battle of legacies

By, Prayagraj
May 21, 2024 09:43 AM IST

The grand old party has won seven of the eight polls held here between 1952 and 1984. However, in recent years, the BJP has made it its citadel, emerging victorious in five of the last seven elections.

Known for its political and historical significance, the Allahabad Lok Sabha constituency is witnessing a fight between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’.

These are followed by 1 lakh Muslim voters, Brahmin bhumihars numbering 15,000, Thakur bhumihars accounting for 35,000, Srivastava/Kayastha numbering 70,000, Kols 1.5 lakh besides Musahar and Pasi voters numbering around 2 lakh, Banias 50,000 and others being around 45,000. (HT PHOTO)
These are followed by 1 lakh Muslim voters, Brahmin bhumihars numbering 15,000, Thakur bhumihars accounting for 35,000, Srivastava/Kayastha numbering 70,000, Kols 1.5 lakh besides Musahar and Pasi voters numbering around 2 lakh, Banias 50,000 and others being around 45,000. (HT PHOTO)

Traditionally a Congress stronghold, the seat from where Lal Bahadur Shastri and VP Singh emerged as prime ministers, has witnessed stalwarts like Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, ‘Chhote Lohia’ Janeshwar Mishra, former Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi and even ‘Millennium Star’ Amitabh Bachchan as its representatives.

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The grand old party has won seven of the eight polls held here between 1952 and 1984. However, in recent years, the BJP has made it its citadel, emerging victorious in five of the last seven elections.

Interestingly, the battle for Allahabad seat features two fresh faces in a direct fight. The BJP has fielded debutante Neeraj Tripathi while the Congress has bet on Ujjwal Raman Singh, a former two-time SP MLA.

The BJP dropped their sitting MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi and has gone for Neeraj Tripathi for a win. A lawyer by profession and a former additional advocate general of UP, Tripathi is the son of former West Bengal governor and ex-speaker of UP Assembly, Keshari Nath Tripathi. The 2024 Lok Sabha election is his first foray into active politics.

The Congress, on the other hand, has opted for an experienced candidate, Ujjwal Rewati Raman Singh, a former two-time MLA from Karachhana assembly seat. He is the son of senior SP leader, Rewati Raman Singh, an eight-time MLA from Karachhana and a two-term MP from Allahabad (2004 and 2009). Ujjwal won the 2004 and 2017 state assembly elections as a member of SP. However, he left the SP with the blessings of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and joined the Congress on April 2, 2024, days before being announced as their parliamentary candidate.

This also turns this fight between Singh and Tripathi into a battle of legacies with both sons fighting the political battle of Allahabad based on their respective fathers’ political credibility.

To take on these two leaders, the BSP has fielded a newbie Ramesh Kumar Patel, a resident of gram panchayat Chitauri of Jasra Block in Prayagraj. He works as a contractor in district panchayat and PWD and has not been very active in politics. He has been the state vice president of the All-India Kurmi Kshatriya Mahasabha. Through him, the BSP is believed to be eying the substantial Patel and backward votes in the region.

RURAL DOMINATION

The Allahabad Parliamentary constituency has five assembly seats under it with the only urban assembly constituency being Allahabad South and the remaining four of Karachhana, Meja, Bara and Koraon falling in rural areas of the trans-Yamuna region of the district.

Of the total 18,25,730 voters, including 9,88,343 men, 8,37,149 women and 238 transgenders, only 4,18,344 (22.91%) voters are from urban areas. It is clear that voters of rural areas would be playing a decisive role on this seat.

CASTE DYNAMICS

Brahmin and Backward caste voters play a dominant role on Allahabad parliamentary seat. The former account for around 5 lakh voters while the voters of backward communities number over 6.5 lakh with Patels (Kurmis) numbering around 3 lakh, Prajapati and Pals accounting for 1.21 lakh, Nishad/Mallahs numbering 2 lakh and Yadavs accounting for 40,000 voters.

These are followed by 1 lakh Muslim voters, Brahmin bhumihars numbering 15,000, Thakur bhumihars accounting for 35,000, Srivastava/Kayastha numbering 70,000, Kols 1.5 lakh besides Musahar and Pasi voters numbering around 2 lakh, Banias 50,000 and others being around 45,000.

ISSUES

The major issues for voters centre around employment generation and better support to farmers with a large belt here known for potato production. Voters mainly want reinitiation of factories in Naini industrial area with full capacity and setting up of new industries so as to stop migration of youths to states like Gujarat and Maharashtra due to unemployment.

Rural voters also want proper compensation to farmers in case of crop loss, support prices for uncovered crops/protection of crops from stray cattle. A large region of this constituency in trans-Yamuna area suffers from water shortage with Shankargarh and Koraon being the worst.

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