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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Acid test for BJP-RLD alliance in second phase in Uttar Pradesh

Of the eight Lok Sabha seats, which included Meerut, Aligarh, Baghpat, Bulandshahar, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Mathura and Amroha, where the polling would be held in the second phase, the BJP had won seven seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 11:20 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 11:20 IST

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Lucknow: Amid the reported resentment amongst the 'Rajput' community, the I.N.D.I.A. alliance and the BSP putting up strong candidates, the alliance between the BJP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) would be put to test in the second phase of polling on 'Jat-Muslim' dominated western Uttar Pradesh region on Friday.

Of the eight Lok Sabha seats, which included Meerut, Aligarh, Baghpat, Bulandshahar, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Mathura and Amroha, where the polling would be held in the second phase, the BJP had won seven seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Amroha was the lone seat, which was won by the BSP, which had then contested the polls in alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP).

BJP has fielded Arun Govil, who had played the role of Lord Rama in the popular Hindi TV serial Ramayana hoping to garner the support of the Hindu community.

The SP has fielded Sunit Verma who is a Dalit, while the BSP has given a ticket to Devvrat Tyagi.

In the previous Lok Sabha elections, BSP candidate Haji Yaqoob Qureshi had given a tough fight to the BJP and had lost the poll by a few thousand votes.

Qureshi has been extensively campaigning for the BSP nominee in Meerut, where Muslims formed over 30 per cent of the electorate, making it tough for Verma.

Some political analysts predicted a direct contest between the BJP and BSP in Meerut.

In Amroha, for another Muslim dominated seat, the I.N.D.I.A. alliance has fielded sitting MP Danish Ali, who crossed over to Congress from BSP days before the elections.

The BSP has also fielded a Muslim candidate. A split in the Muslim vote would certainly be to the advantage of the BJP nominee Kanwar Singh Tanwar.

BJP, which had won the Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar seats last time, faces the anger of the electorally influential 'Rajput' community, which has a sizable presence on both the seats.

BSP has fielded a Rajput candidate from Gautam Buddh Nagar making things difficult for the BJP.

The contest in Bulandshahar (Reserved) Lok Sabha seat which is also likely to be between the BJP and BSP, as the candidate of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance is considered to be weak.

The Aligarh Lok Sabha seat, which has a sizable presence of Jat and Muslim voters, has also become interesting as the I.N.D.I.A. alliance has fielded a Jat candidate for the seat.

BJP has re-nominated its sitting MP Satish Gautam while the BSP has fielded a Brahmin candidate, who may make a dent into the BJP's core vote bank.

Similarly, the BSP, by nominating a Jat candidate from Mathura, another Jat dominated seat, has made the contest tough for film actor turned politician and sitting MP Hema Malini. The I.N.DI.I.A. alliance has fielded Mukesh Dhangar from Mathura.

The second phase would be an acid test for the BJP-RLD alliance, especially in Baghpat, Mathura and Aligarh constituencies, given the reports that the alliance was not visible on the ground.

There were also reports of clashes between BJP and RLD workers at a joint meeting of the two parties.

''Our alliance is strong and there is perfect coordination between the two parties.... the results will prove it,'' a legislature party leader of the RLD, Rajpal Baliyan said.

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Published 24 April 2024, 11:20 IST

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