Lucknow: Bijnor is a UP constituency that goes to Lok Sabha polls during the first phase on April 11. It has two Lok Sabha seats — Bijnor and Nagina (reserved) but the latter goes to poll in the second phase. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded its candidates from both these seats, representing the BSP-SP-RLD alliance. BSP chief Mayawati was elected as MP for the first time from Bijnor parliamentary seat in 1989. The party is aiming to revive its electoral fortune in the region this time. In fact, Mayawati had staked a claim to these two seats even before a seat-share arrangement had been worked out with the SP, said reports. It went ahead and declared who would be in charge of Bijnor and Nagina seats.
The seat is currently held by BJP’s Kunwar Bharatendra Singh. For Mayawati, the seat has become a prestige issue. While she had made her political debut in Parliament with this seat, it is not like it is her stronghold. In fact, she fought three Lok Sabha elections from here and lost twice.
While Mayawati, a dip in her political fortune notwithstanding, continued to enjoy goodwill here, this time around, she hopes to tap into Muslim-Dalit votes. Therefore, she has taken both seats in Bijnor district.
In the 2014 elections, BJP’s Kunwar Bharatendra Singh defeated his closest rival Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Shahnawaz Rana and won with a margin of 2,05,774 votes. Of the 12 contestants who were in the fray, 9 lost their deposits.
Meerut: Meerut is a seat held by BJP’s Rajendra Agarwal who had defeated BSP’s Mohammad Shahid Akhlaq in 2014. Agarwal is aiming for a hattrick this year as the party has chosen him again. The BSP, which has been a runner-up in the past two elections, has fielded Haji Mohammed Yaqoob this year. The Congress has fielded Harendra Agarwal. Reports say that by picking an upper caste candidate the grand old party has tried to split the votes of the general category who voted for the BJP in 2014. This is likely to favour the BSP candidate who is likely to get support of the Muslim and Dalits.
The Baghpat constituency, along with the Baghpat district, covers parts of Meerut, Ghaziabad and Shamli districts. In the 2014 election, BJP’s Satyapal Singh won the seat. He is a former Police Commissioner of Mumbai and is the Minister of State for HRD and Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in the current government.
While Singh emerged the winner in 2014, RLD’s Ajit Singh, who was the sitting MP then, came a poor third. This time, while Ajit Singh has moved to Muzaffarnagar to try his luck, he has left it upon his son and party Vice-President Jayant Chaudhary to wrest this seat back. In fact, Baghpat is one of the three seats which the RLD is contesting in an alliance with the SP-BSP this time.