UP 'mahagathbandhan' hopes hinge on Kairana result

BJP supporters are seen at an election rally in Kairana. DH photo

The result of the Kairana Lok Sabha constituency will not only be an indicator of the possible outcome of the 2019 General elections in Uttar Pradesh but it will also be a test of the Opposition’s unity and its efforts to form a ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) to counter the BJP.

Interestingly, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav has not campaigned in Kairana despite the fact that the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) contestant Tabassum Hasan is an SP leader and is being supported by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress.

In the recent Lok Sabha bypolls at Gorakhpur and Phulpur, Akhilesh had addressed election rallies to garner support for his party nominees.

BSP supremo Mayawati has also not made any public appeal to her supporters to vote for the Opposition nominee as she had done at Gorakhpur and Phulpur as a result of which the local BSP leaders did not actively participate in the campaigning.

SP and BSP leaders, however, rubbished the charge that they had left the RLD to fend for itself. “The workers of the Congress, SP and BSP have been actively involved in campaigning,” says Mohammed Ahmed, a local Congress leader in Shamli, an Assembly segment of Kairana LS constituency.

Local scribe Sachin Tyagi says that a success for the RLD in Kairana will certainly expedite the grand alliance in UP. “An opposition victory will reflect coming together of the Dalits and Muslims, who are deciding factors in many constituencies in the western UP,” Sachin told DH.

A reversal, however, could derail the efforts to bring all the opposition parties on one platform, he added. “Shifting of votes will be a big problem for the Opposition,” Sachin said.

The victory in the Monday bypoll is crucial for the RLD, which had drawn a blank in the 2014 LS polls and even its president Ajit Singh had lost in its stronghold of Jat-dominated Baghpat.

Both Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary have been toiling hard to woo the members of Jat community and the farmers.

Non-payment of sugarcane arrears has also been made a big issue in the poll here by the Opposition though Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tried to blunt the same by recommending a CBI probe into the reported irregularities in the sale of state-owned sugar mills by the then Mayawati regime. 

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UP 'mahagathbandhan' hopes hinge on Kairana result

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