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Caste-ridden Akbarpur is ruled by Bahujan Samaj Party supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2004 15:33 IST

The birth place of eminent socialist Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, the caste-ridden Akbarpur is ruled by Bahujan Samaj Party supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

Despite one of the most backward in the eastern UP, the Scheduled Caste constituency has remained committed to the behenji, the bane of brahmins in the area. No issue, but the jaati has been the deciding factor in the polls here in past several elections.

It has mostly been a BSP and SP contest here while Congress and BJP have vied for third and fourth spot over the years. And the pattern is not expected to change this time either, says the experts.

Mayawati had defeated his nearest rival Samajwadi Party's Ram Piyare Suman by 53386 votes in a 15-cornered contest in 1999. In 1998, she defeated Dr Lalta Prasad Kannoujiya of Samajwadi Party by 25,179 votes.

In 1996, the seat had gone to Ghanshyam Chandra Kharwar of BSP who defeated BJP's Bechan Ram by 24,567 votes whereas in 1991 the sitting Member of Parliament Ram Awadh of Janata Dal had trounced Bechan Ram of BJP by just 156 votes. Ram Awadh had drubbed Ram Piyare Suman of Congress by 85834 votes to enter Lok Sabha in 1989.

The BSP won the seat in 1996 polled only 1.99 lakh votes, but in the assembly polls held barely four months later, its polled 2.48 lakh votes, an increase of 25 per cent.

The BJP's vote share increased from 1.75 lakh to 1.96 lakh while the SP increased its kitty from 1.69 lakh to 2.34 lakh votes.

There are five assembly segments in Akbarpur constituency: Akbarpur, Jahangirganj, Jalalpur, Katehri and Tanda. The BSP had won three out of the five assembly seats in the 1996 assembly election, while the BJP and SP won one each.

Caste equation

The constituency is sharply divided into Dalits, Yadav and Kurmis and the upper castes.

The more than 13 lakh electorate here comprise 35% upper castes, 20% Muslims, 15% OBCs, 25% SCs including a sizeable 15% per cent Chamars and 5% other castes as per unofficial estimates.

Muslims are perceived to be siding with SP, OBCs with the BJP and SCs with the BSP. The fight thus remains between the BJP and SP for a major share of upper caste anti-Mayawati votes.

First Published: Mar 26, 2004 13:33 IST