The bypoll in Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh is going to be an acid test for both the ruling BJP and the Opposition that dreams of repeating Gorakhpur and Phulpur type jolt to the Narendra Modi-led regime, where Samajwadi Party and BSP had dramatically come together.
Along with Kairana, Noorpur Assembly seat is also going to bypolls on May 28 and both the elections will also test the popularity of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. A defeat would diminish the clout of Adityanath, who is yet to recover from the defeat of the BJP candidate in Gorakhpur seat, which he vacated to assume the office of Chief Minister.
The Samajwadi Party and RLD have agreed on fighting the bypolls together and would be talking to BSP chief Mayawati, who had helped the former win Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
The Kairana seat fell vacant after fiery Hindutva MP Hukum Singh, who triggered a controversy claiming that there was an exodus of Hindu families that was later found to be incorrect, passed away. While BJP is yet to announce its candidate, Singh's daughter Mriganka is hoping for a ticket.
Mriganka had lost the 2017 Assembly polls by 21,000 votes and she hopes that she could pull it off in the constituency riding on a sympathy wave due to her father, who she says had a strong hold. Singh had won on Hindutva plank and had not shied away from raising the issues.
The BJP may bank on the same plank this time too as it does not want to lose the seat and project the vulnerability of the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Kairana has around 17 lakh voters, out of which four lakh belong to backward castes, three lakh to Muslims and around 1.5 lakh are Dalits belonging to Jatav caste.
On Opposition front, they do not want to lose the momentum they achieved in the March bypolls and want to consolidate it this time. While BSP has a stated policy of not contesting bypolls, efforts are on to ensure its support for the SP-RLD candidate. Congress may also not field a candidate for the sake of opposition unity.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and RLD top leader Jayant Chaudhary, the son of party chief Ajit Singh, held a three-hour long meeting in Lucknow on Friday, where both the parties decided to put up a combined fight.