Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In Bulandshahr, BJP, alliance to have a close contest
Villagers claim that at least 2,500 residents of Saidpur are currently serving the country in different forces and there is an-ex-serviceman in almost every house.Updated: Apr 17, 2019 09:59 IST
It was during the British Raj in India that a group of 155 soldiers from Saidpur village of Bulandshahr took part in the First World War (1914-19).
Twenty-nine soldiers laid down their lives to leave behind a reputation of a village of soldiers for Saidpur.
Carrying forward their legacy, soldiers and officers hailing from the village have been serving in the army, navy and air force and have fought all the wars, including the Kargil War.
Villagers claim that at least 2,500 residents of Saidpur are currently serving the country in different forces and there is an-ex-serviceman in almost every house.
Even today, people remember Surendra Singh, who had lost his life in Kargil War, and pay tribute to him at his statue installed in the village.
The village also has a war memorial where the names of soldiers and officials have been inscribed.
The village also have a war memorial on which names of the soldiers and officials have been inscribed. The intermediate college in the village, too, is named ‘Military Heroes Memorial Inter College’.
As the village is set to vote on April 18, residents claim the election would be tough for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The village has over 7,000 voters and majority of them belong to Jat community.
“The alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) will make the going tough for BJP. There is no Modi wave or Hindu-Muslim polarisation this time and hence votes will get divided between BJP and alliance. In 2014, voting was one-sided because of Modi wave,” Chaudhary Kushalpal Singh, a villager, said.
While the BJP has fielded sitting MP Bhola Singh, Yogesh Verma is the candidate of SP-BSP-RLD alliance.
Congress has given ticket to former MLA Bansi Paharia. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Bhola Singh had defeated Pradeep Kumar Jatav of BSP by a huge margin of 4,21,973 votes.
Ex-armymen Bijendra Singh and Devendra Singh Sirohi said though they were annoyed with sitting BJP MP Bhola Singh but their vote would still go to Modi.
However, the armymen of the village were critical of the attempt by politicians to seek votes in the name of armed forces.
“How can one describe the armed forces as ‘Modi ki Sena’?” asked Vedbeer Singh questioning the reference made by chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
A retired armyman Bijendra Singh said, “Forces belong to the country and no one has right to claim that it is of any individual.”
Devendra Singh Sirohi, who retired from the navy, expressed his dismay over politicisation of the forces in election.
Another ex-serviceman Chaman Singh alleged that the air strike was carried out before elections to extract political benefits.
Despite being a staunch BJP supporter and an online worker of the party Gulab Singh Sirohi said, “Nobody in the village will agree on politicisation of forces in election and seeking votes in the name of Pulwama terror attack and airstrike across the LoC.”
Anuj Sirohi, a member of zila panchayat samiti, said BJP MP Bhola Singh adopted the village but did nothing in five years.
Pankaj Singh, another villager, said a sizable number of Jat votes would go to the alliance as Ajit Singh’s RLD is a part of it.
Bulandshahr is a reserve constituency where the votes of Lodh, Dalit and Muslim communities hold the key.
The inclination of over 2 lakh Jat voters will be the deciding factor in the constituency.
Bhola Singh belongs to Lodh community and has the blessings of former CM and present governor of Rajasthan Kalyan Singh who enjoys the support of Lodh community.
The sitting BJP MP is facing the ire of his own community which blames him for his failure deliver on the ground in last five years.
Sitting in a tea shop in the village, Bholamer Singh and Kailash Chand, both belonging to the Lodh community, said the people were annoyed with Bhola Singh. They said people didn’t allow the local MP to address address the gathering during a rally of Yogi Adityanath.
They said they would vote for Modi and not Bhola.
Another villager Nityanand said the people’s ire could adversely affect polling percentage in the constituency.
Mushkool, a resident of Shikarpur town of Bulandshahr said, “It will not be a cakewalk for BJP this time as alliance candidate Yogesh Verma is giving a tough challenge with his Muslim, Dalit and Jat support.”
Sanjeev Sharma of Balka village said the BJP’s could have been strong had they fielded a new face. “ BJP is totally depending on the name of Modi while the opposition is banking on their new-found social chemistry for their victory,” he said.