Tight security for Muhammadabad
WITH INDEPENDENT MLA from Mau, Mukhtar Ansari, still ruling the roost from jail in Ghazipur, the prestigious by-election for Muhammadabad in Ghazipur has assumed significance.india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 01:35 IST
WITH INDEPENDENT MLA from Mau, Mukhtar Ansari, still ruling the roost from jail in Ghazipur, the prestigious by-election for Muhammadabad in Ghazipur has assumed significance.
Amidst tight security arrangement around four lakh electorate will exercise their franchise on February 16. The seat fell vacant following assassination of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, an archrival of Mafioso-turned-politician Ansari.
In the absence of the BSP from the fray the BJP’s Mrs Alka Rai (widow of Krishnanad Rai) is directly pitted against the ruling Samajwadi Party candidate Srikrishna Ram Gama.
In view of the sensitivity of the election the election commission has deployed three observers to hold free and fair election. While the BJP, apart from its traditional Bhumihar vote, has been banking on nearly 35,000 Dalit electorate, as the local BSP had extended support to Alka, the SP has succeeded in mobilizing Thakur, Yadav and some other backward communities.
But Muslims are to play crucial role in tilting the balance. The absence of the BSP has left them with no option but to go for the SP. The Ansari family has considerable sway over Muslims in the constituency.
But sympathy factor appeared to be working in favour of Alka, who has been pushed in the electoral battle after sudden death of her husband.
Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has already accused the BSP and the Congress of joining hands with communal forces in the election.
According to information, people are largely divided between pro and anti-Mukhtar Ansari group. Snatching the seat from the Rai family has become prestigious for the Ansaris. Muhammadabad is Ansaris’ hometown and Krishnanad Rai had won the seat by defeating Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Afzal Ansari in 2002 election. Since then, the two groups had been at loggerheads. Mukhtar and Afzal Ansari are the main accused in the Rai murder case.
With the election commission issuing strict directive for peaceful polling, the district administration has deployed 13 companies of central security forces, 10 companies of the PAC and large civil police force called from adjoining districts to throw tight security cordon around 170 polling stations.