Samajwadi Party banking on past record as it readies for UP bypolls

The dates for UP bypolls have not been announced yet but are expected soon.
Akhilesh Yadav’s party has performed reasonably well in previous bypolls in the state, held since 2017.(PTI Photo)
Akhilesh Yadav’s party has performed reasonably well in previous bypolls in the state, held since 2017.(PTI Photo)
Updated on Sep 27, 2020 11:42 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | ByPankaj Jaiswal | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

Samajwadi Party has intensified preparations for the forthcoming bypolls for eight UP assembly seats that are being billed as ‘mini-assembly elections’ and is banking on its impressive record in bypolls since 2017.

SP had held the two seats of Malhani (Jaunpur) and Suar (Rampur) that will see elections while the remaining six-- Tundla (Firozabad), Bunaldshahr, Naugawan Sadat (Amroha), Ghatampur (Kanpur City), Bangarmau (Unnao), and Deoria were previously held by BJP.

In 2018 bypolls, SP won three Lok Sabha seats of Gorakhpur--vacated by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Phulpur, which was vacated by deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya, and Kairana apart from the Noorpur assembly seat.

SP ally (Rashtriya Lok Dal) won the Kairana assembly seat.

In the 2019 assembly bypolls on eleven seats, SP had been the only gainer, winning three seats. It retained its Rampur seat and gained one each from the BJP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

“Samajwadi Party did well in the bypolls and it will win seats in the forthcoming bypolls too. People are agitated, and want SP back,” said SP state spokesperson, Rajendra Chaudhary.

“We had invited applications for the eight seats. Applications came and now the national president would finalise candidates,” he said.

The election commission has declared the schedule for Bihar assembly polls and is likely to soon announce one for UP assembly bypolls as well. “One of the reasons why Samajwadi Party is not contesting Bihar assembly polls is to remain focused on UP bypolls,” said a party leader. Last week SP declared that it won’t contest Bihar polls and will instead support Rashtriya Janata Dal.

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SP state president Naresh Uttam Patel has completed a round of virtual meetings with the party outfits and sector in-charges in seven of the eight constituencies.

Patel has asked the party outfits in the eight constituencies to take the bypolls, happening ahead of the 2022 UP assembly polls, very seriously. “The bypolls are crucial and would have a far-reaching impact,” he asserted.

He has also asked the party outfit in the eight constituencies to intensively campaign, both virtually as well as by conducting door-to-door campaigns while maintaining Covid safety protocols.

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“Our performance in bypolls has been spectacular since 2017. And we will win the forthcoming bypolls on the image and performance of Akhilesh Yadav ji. People are upset with the non-performance of the BJP led government in UP. When people compare the present government’s scorecard with the previous SP led government, they feel cheated by the BJP,” said SP spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Gandhi.

Political analyst SK Dwivedi predicts a tough contest between the BJP and the SP in coming bypolls. “Both parties are evenly poised. On Ram temple or China issue, people are with the BJP but on issues like unemployment, price rise, law and order they are against it,” he said.

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