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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Dalit politics takes new turn with Chandrashekhar Azad's victory

Azad's win has a larger political significance in the heartland politics as Mayawati’s BSP has failed to demonstrate stomach for a contest in both LS and assembly polls since the rise of BJP in UP.
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 00:36 IST
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 00:36 IST

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New Delhi: Dalit politics in India, which has been at a crossroads with the meltdown of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the past 10 years, takes a new turn with Azad Samaj Party chief Chandrashekhar Azad's winning his maiden elections from Nagina in Uttar Pradesh to enter the Lok Sabha.

Ravan defeated his nearest candidate from the BJP by over 1.5 lakh votes and pushed BSP’s Surendra Pal Singh to the fourth spot. BSP candidate in Nagina polled less than 14,000 votes.

On the other hand, the BSP failed to open its account in the state, though the party managed to muster close to 9% of the votes. The party’s campaign was lackluster, as I.N.D.I.A bloc made a concerted effort to wean away a section of Dalits by underscoring the ‘Save Constitution’ campaign.

Nagina is the twin constituency in Bijnor district in western UP, with over 60% Muslim and Dalit population. During his campaign, these were the two communities that Azad had courted.

Azad's win has a larger political significance in the heartland politics as Mayawati’s BSP has failed to demonstrate stomach for a contest in both LS and assembly polls since the rise of BJP in UP.

Because of its high Dalit population, Bijnor and Nagina are considered bellwether seats in subaltern politics in UP. Dalit stalwarts like Mayawati and Meira Kumar have represented the constituencies in the past.  

During the campaign, Mayawati’s nephew Aakash Anand while addressing a rally in Nagina had lashed out at Azad for “misleading the Dalit youth.” Though I.N.D.I.A allies too did not accommodate Azad in the alliance, his victory could trigger realignment in Dalit politics in the state.

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Published 05 June 2024, 00:36 IST

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