BSP president Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Ajit Singh will jointly address the first rally of the alliance in Deoband on April 17. The alliance leaders will take on the BJP which had swept all 14 seats of the region in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Deoband is one of the five constituencies of Saharanpur Lok Sabha constituency. The four other constituencies are Behat, Saharanpur, Saharanpur Dehat and Rampur Maniharan. According to political experts, the alliance has carefully selected Deoband as the venue of their first rally as the constituency remained in limelight for caste clashes and emergence of Bhim Army in the last two years. Besides, it is a town known for Islamic seminary Darul Uloom. Samajwadi Party’s district president in Meerut Rajpal Singh said Deoband was an internationally acclaimed city and the message disseminated from here would go around. “The alliance is banking on combination of Dalit, Muslims, Jats and OBCs votes in the region and the city could be the best place to pass on the message among Muslims as many madarsas and educational institutions of Muslims are located here,” he said Besides, Shabbirpur village is also located in the constituency where clashes between Dalits and Rajputs had taken place in May 2017 over taking out a procession of Rajput king Maharana Pratap. A boy, belonging to the upper caste, was killed in the clash after which the Thakurs torched over 50 houses of Dalits. After caste clashes flared up, Mayawati had to visit the village.The protests by Bhim Army brought it to the limelight and its chief Chandrashekhar was arrested and jailed under the stringent National Security Act (NSA). The presence of Mayawati here almost after two years of clash may help in winning over Dalits. Bhim Army’s Chandrashekhar has declared his support to the alliance but his recent meeting with Priyanka Gandhi in Meerut is likely to tilt the support of young Dalits towards Congress candidate Imran Masood. It is also a do-or-die battle for Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary and their success entirely depends on the revival of the winning equation of Muslims and Jats which was badly hit after the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013. Deoband is situated close to Jat-dominated belt of Meerut, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat.