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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Aligarh seat locked in a triangular fight

AMU holds the status of a distinguished seat of education and the AMU students’ union (AMUSU) has produced prominent politicians.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 17, 2019 10:39 IST
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hindustan Times, Agra
Aligarh Muslim University,AMUSU politics,ALigarh locked industry
Aligarh Muslim University (HT)

Known for the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), a prominent centre of learning, the city of Aligarh is also known for its lock industry.

More in the news for controversies related to Jinnah’s portrait on AMU campus and reservation row at the university, the city longs for improvement in infrastructure and civic amenities which continue to remain unattended.

AMU holds the status of a distinguished seat of education and the AMU students’ union (AMUSU) has produced prominent politicians.

The Aligarh constituency is set for Lok Sabha elections and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already addressed a mega rally at Numaish Maidan which is not new to public meetings.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati has also campaigned for the alliance candidate. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Chaudhary Ajit Singh had also attended the public meeting.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, SP president Akhilesh Yadav, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and others have also left no stone unturned to win Aligarh.

DOMINATING ISSUES

Caste and religion dominate elections in Aligarh. Although the city has AMU but other colleges continue to be affiliated with Dr BR Ambedkar University of Agra. The demand for a university for Aligarh remains unfulfilled.

Traffic jams is a perennial issue in Aligarh. The city also lacks connectivity with the southern part of the country.

Moreover, sugarcane and potato farmers have their own set of problems and lack of industrialisation fails to support agriculture produce of the area.

Lawyers have also been pressing for a separate high court bench for west UP.

A section of residents also believes that the city should be a part of the national capital region (NCR) as Delhi is close to it.

CM Yogi Adityanath and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman were in Aligarh for the announcement of defence corridor but early implementation remains to be done.

The lock industry seeks better labs here and despite being important seat of hardware industry, Aligarh still awaits attention.

POLITICAL SCENARIO

While the BJP has replaced its sitting MP in Agra, Hathras and Fatehpur Sikri, it has retained sitting MP Satish Gautam in Aligarh. Gautam is known for raising the Jinnah portrait controversy and SC/ST reservation issue at AMU.

He initially faced opposition within the party and was not believed to be the chosen one for former chief minister Kalyan Singh who still remains a force to reckon with in Aligarh.

BSP candidate Ajit Baliyan represents SP-BSP-RLD alliance and aims to bring back the success of BSP which won this seat in 2009. Congress candidate Bijendra Singh had won from Aligarh in 2004 and has made the contest not only triangular but interesting too.

With no major party fielding a Muslim candidate this time, the inclination of Muslims, who form a fair part of the population, remains anybody’s gamble.

POLITICAL HISTORY

The parliamentary seat of Aligarh remained loyal to the Congress in first four elections between 1952 and 1957 but in 1962, the seat was won by the Republican Party of India (RPI). Then came the dominance of the Bharatiya Kranti Dal (BKD) which won in 1967 and 1971 with Chaudhary Charan Singh having a say in the area.

The JP Movement brought success for the Janata Party in 1977 and for Janata Party (S) in 1980 but the Congress, riding on sympathy wave after Indira Gandhi assassination, won in 1984. This was followed by the emergence of Janata Dal in 1989.

Then came the era of BJP and its candidate Sheela Gautam won in election in 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. The Congress won the election in 2004.

Photo Caption ::: File photos of buildings in AMU Campus at Aligarh.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 10:23 IST