Yogi faces another test in Kairana LS by-poll in UP

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Billed as a precursor to the next big battle in 2019, the forthcoming bypoll in Kairana Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district, would once again test Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The bypoll would also be testing the combined strength of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP and the result of the by-election would indicate if the two parties could, in alliance with other Opposition parties, counter BJP in 2019.

Still smarting under humiliating defeat in Lok Sabha bypolls in Phulpur and the saffron bastion of Gorakhpur, Adityanath and the BJP were going all out to ensure that the party retained Kairana, which was held by senior party leader Hukum Singh.

The bypoll has been necessitated after Singh's demise owing to protracted illness in February this year.

In an apparent bid to gain an advantage of the sympathy factor, BJP is likely to field Singh's daughter Mriganka from the seat.

Apparently buoyed by the success of their ''experiment'' in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati have now set their eyes on Kairana.

Though BSP has decided not to field its nominee from Kairana, Mayawati was yet to declare her party's support to the SP.

Hukum Singh had won the seat in 2014 Lok Sabha polls by over 2.35 lakh votes. Singh had secured around 5.65 lakh votes while his nearest SP rival Nahid Hasan had secured around 3.29 lakh votes.

BSP nominee Kanwar Hasan and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate Kartar Singh Bhadana had secured 1.60 lakh and 42 thousand votes respectively.

In 2017 assembly polls, however, BJP's votes in the five assembly segments in Kairana Lok Sabha constituency declined to 4.32 lakh while the combined votes of the Opposition parties increased to 5.59 lakh.

''We can wrest the seat from BJP if we contest in alliance,'' said a senior SP leader here while speaking to DH.

BJP, however, appears confident. ''Last time we were taken by surprise...this time we are prepared,'' said BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

Polling for Kairana LS seat and Noorpur assembly seat would be held on May 28 while the counting of votes would take place on May 31.

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Yogi faces another test in Kairana LS by-poll in UP

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