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Phulpur LS bypoll: An acid test for Keshav Maurya

It will be a battle of prestige for deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya when Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency goes to poll on March 11.

lucknow Updated: Feb 12, 2018 14:14 IST
Kenneth John
Kenneth John
Hindustan Times, Allahabad
Phulpur,LS bypoll,Keshav Prasad Maurya
Aware of the challenge, Maurya is leaving no stone unturned to repeat the feat. (HT File)

It will be a battle of prestige for deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya when Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency goes to poll on March 11.

Having won Phulpur with a margin of over 3 lakh votes in 2014, Maurya had announced that it was the first time that ‘lotus’ (BJP’s poll symbol) had bloomed in a constituency that remained a Congress bastion for long.

The feat propelled Maurya’s fortunes and he was appointed the state unit chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He proved his mettle again in the 2017 UP assembly election when the party bagged its best-ever tally of 324 seats.

Maurya was rewarded with the post of deputy chief minister.

“Having risen in stature from grassroot leader to a prominent position in the party, Maurya will now have to prove that it was not just Modi magic but his own charm too that helped the party come to power in the state,” said political analyst and vice-chancellor of the Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU), Allahabad, Prof MP Dubey.

“He needs to fire on all cylinders to ensure a win for his party at a time when the opposition seems to be closing ranks,” he added.

Aware of the challenge, Maurya is leaving no stone unturned to repeat the feat.

District media in-charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Pawan Srivatava said the parliamentary constituency had been divided into 227 sectors by the party for better penetration at grassroots level.

“Senior party leaders including UP BJP general secretary Govind Narayan Shukla, state unit secretary Amar Pal Maurya and Sonbhadra MLA Bhupesh Chaubey have been camping in the constituency from February 1 onwards. They are holding meeting at sector and booth level apprising the electorate about the party’s achievements. Senior leaders are also likely to visit the constituency for canvassing,” he said.

District unit office-bearer of the BJP said the candidate would be named within a day or two and nominations would be filed between February 13 and 20.

“Maurya will arrive here on Monday and meet the electorate in different parts of the constituency for a couple of days. The most probable names of candidates include deputy CM’s wife Rajkumari Maurya, orthopaedic surgeon Dr UB Yadav and Dr Vikram Patel, son of a BJP MLA from Fatehpur,” he said.

An eight-page folder projecting the works that Maurya carried out as Phulpur MP is being circulated in the parliamentary constituency.

Some of the works mentioned in the list include construction of 15 railway over-bridge (ROB) and flyovers, roads, drains, boundary walls, sanctioning of four-lane bridge on the Ganga connecting Allahabad and Varanasi, civil airport connecting Allahabad with 14 major cities, launch of CNG and PNG pipeline work besides broadening of 18 roads with Rs 291.18 crore funds from the Central Road Fund (CRF).

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 14:14 IST