Muslims, OBC crucial in second phase polling

Muslims, OBC crucial in second phase polling

Muslims and Other Backward Class (OBC) will be the deciding factor in 67 Assembly seats, which will go to polls in the second phase in Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

The two communities together constitute about 80% of the total electorate of the region.
Stakes are high for the Samajwadi Party (SP), which had won 34 of the 67 seats in the 2012 Assembly elections. The SP will be under tremendous pressure to repeat its performance.

The BJP, which had won 10 seats last time in the region, will be banking heavily on division in the Muslim votes and the support of OBCs.

The BSP, which had emerged victorious in 11 seats in 2012, has tried hard to make a dent in SP’s Muslim vote bank. The party feels that it can improve its performance if it is able to wean away the Muslims.

The districts going to polls on Wednesday include Saharanpur, Moradabad, Sambhal, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Bareilly, Rampur, Budaon, Shahjahanpur, Bijnore, Amroha and Pilibhit. The polling will decide the fate of as many as 720 candidates. Prominent among them are firebrand SP leader Azam Khan, state ministers Iqbal Mehmood and Riaz Ahmed and Congress leader Jitin Prasada.

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