Floods, jobs key issues in eastern UP seats in 6th phase of Lok Sabha polls
It’s the penultimate round of polling in Uttar Pradesh. With 53 of the state’s 80 seats having polled in the previous five phases, 14 will go to polls in the sixth phase on May 12.
The battlefield has now moved eastward, with constituencies such as Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Allahabad, Ambedkarnagar, Azamgarh, and Jaunpur in the fray.
Of the 14 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won all in 2014, barring Azamgarh, which was won by Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. This time, his son and party chief chief Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from here.
The BJP faces a tough challenge now that the SP has forged an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). It will be a triangular contest between the BJP, the SP-BSP alliance, and Congress in two seats — Sultanpur and Pratapgarh.
Some of the bigwigs in the fray include BJP’s Maneka Gandhi from Sultanpur, former Congress veteran Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who switched to the BJP, from Allahabad, and sitting MP Jagdambika Pal from Domariyaganj. The region going to the polls on Sunday has some of the most backward districts in the country; the land is fertile yet the region is poverty stricken. Flood is a perennial problem in most districts, and the main issues here are unemployment, lack of industries and widespread migration.
Azamgarh is among the most-watched constituency where Akhilesh is contesting. The Congress has not fielded a candidate and the BJP fielded a political novice and Bhojpuri singer-actor Dineshlal Yadav ‘Nirahua’.
Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who did not win the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls as a Congress candidate in Lucknow, has migrated to the BJP. She won the Lucknow Cantt assembly seat on BJP ticket in 2017. Her father, the late UP chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, once represented Allahabad. The BJP has swapped its Pilibhit and Sultanpur MPs, mother-son duo Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi.
“Both the six and the seventh phases, spread across eastern UP, are important. The trend of the sixth phase will follow in the seventh which has 13 constituencies including Varanasi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the fray. The party that does well in the region will play key role in politics at the Centre,” said Kaushal Kishore Mishra at Banaras Hindu University.
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After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi on a thanksgiving visit on Monday.He marked his visit by offering prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple before heading to address party workers.Modi won the Varanasi parliamentary seat by a margin 4,79,505 votes, defeating his nearest rival Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.Follow highlights here: