Lok Sabha elections 2019 Phase 2 voting: BJP looks to retain key Uttar Pradesh seats
Eight seats will go to the polls in the second phase of the national elections in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept back to power in 2014 on the back of its performances in western and northern Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, where it won 71 out of 80 seats. The 71 included the eight seats — Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri — where polling would be held on Thursday.
The BJP’s Bhola Singh is again in the fray from Bulandshahr, where he defeated Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’s Pradeep Kumar Jatav by over 400,000 votes in 2014.
The BJP is now up against a united Opposition in form of the Samajwadi Party (SP), BSP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance. In Fatehpur Sikri, BJP’s Choudhary Babulal had polled 44.06% of votes in 2014 while the BSP, SP and RLD got 50.72%, contesting separately.
The BJP has denied tickets to MPs from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Hathras, but has retained five others including actor Hema Malini (Mathura) and Satish Gautam (Aligarh). It has fielded Raj Kumar Chahar from Fatehpur Sikri against Congress leader Raj Babbar.
The BSP is contesting Agra, Aligarh and Fatehpur Sikri in the second phase of polling out of the 38 it has been allotted as part of the seat-sharing agreement. The SP is contesting the Hathras seat while Mathura has gone to RLD. RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary had won the Mathura seat in 2009 but lost to Hema Malini in 2014. He chose Baghpat this time. Bhagpat went to polls on April 11 with seven other seats.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia addressed rallies ahead of the second phase in Amroha and Fatehpur Sikri.
‘The second phase is much like the first with no clear signals about the outcome. There seems to be an undercurrent of support for PM Modi, but it’s not like the 2014 wave and alliance is very much in fight,” said Dr KS Rana, a political analyst based at Agra.