Expected Results For Bihar And UP By-Polls: How BJP And SP Can Win Two Seats Each
BJP is likely to win Kurhani and Khatauli.
SP might be able to save its bastions at Rampur and Mainpuri.
Three constituencies in Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar, among other places, voted for by-polls on Monday (5 December). Let's have a look at what we can expect at these places on the result day (8 December).
UP's Rampur assembly seat registered the worst voter turnout with just 33.9 per cent voting. It was quite a decrease from 41 per cent voting in Rampur Lok Sabha by-poll and 56 per cent in the assembly elections held earlier this year.
This led to Azam Khan's family members alleging that police threatened, harassed and stopped people from voting. However, the truth is that lower voter turnout is a result of voter fatigue.
This is the sixth election in Rampur in six years- 2017 VS, 2019 LS, 2019 VS by-poll, 2022 VS, 2022 LS by-poll and now 2022 VS by-poll. This time the seat fell vacant after 10-time MLA Khan was disqualified over his conviction in a hate speech case.
However, Khan made efforts to save this seat for the Samajwadi Party (SP) like he himself was contesting the elections. He campaigned aggressively for the SP candidate Asim Raza, considered close to him.
This comes in the backdrop of the SP bastions like Azamgarh and Rampur going to the BJP in the June parliamentary by-polls. Now this seat has become a question of prestige for the SP and especially for Azam Khan.
SP is banking on a sizeable Muslim population in the constituency but Khan's absence and BJP's efforts will manifest on the result day as a smaller victory margin for the SP, especially when the turnout was quite less.
UP's Khatauli assembly seat saw a voter turnout of 56.46 per cent. The by-poll was necessitated as the seat fell vacant following the conviction of BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
SP gave a chance to its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to contest this seat against the BJP. BJP's candidate is Vikram Saini's wife Rajkumari Saini, while the RLD candidate is Madan Gopal, also known as 'Madan bhaiya'.
The electoral history of the seat suggests that it always goes with the wave in the state. The BJP won this seat in the 2017 and 2022 assembly elections when it also formed the government in the state.
In 2012, when the SP-RLD alliance formed the government, the RLD candidate won from here. Similarly, in 2007, when Mayawati became CM, the BSP candidate became the MLA.
Going by this, BJP is set to win this seat. Also, people sympathise with Saini who was jailed for 'standing for them' during the riots. We have already seen the failure of Jat-Muslim vote banking in the recent assembly elections.
UP's Mainpuri parliamentary seat witnessed a voter turnout of 54 per cent. The by-poll was necessitated by the death of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
His daughter-in-law and former CM Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav contested the election on the SP ticket, while the BJP candidate is Raghuraj Singh Shakya.
Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat has been with the SP since 1996. Mulayam himself won from here in 1996, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 elections. Thus, it can be considered an SP bastion.
This explains CM Yogi Adityanath's aggressive campaigning here. He was also seen targeting Akhilesh's uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav who announced support for Dimple after parting ways with the SP earlier this year.
BJP tried to exploit the rift in the Yadav family by posing Shivpal's loyalist Shakya against SP. However, the SP seems set to win as it has successfully reconciled with Shivpal who has a considerable influence in the area.
Bihar's Kurhani assembly constituency recorded a voter turnout of 57.9 per cent. It was lower than the turnout of 64.19 per cent observed in the 2020 assembly elections. However, this decrease is normal in a by-poll.
The by-poll was necessitated as the RJD MLA Sahni got disqualified from the state assembly in a fraud case. Now RJD has given a chance to its ally JD(U) to contest against the BJP, making it the first face-off since August split.
JD(U)'s candidate Manoj Singh Kushwaha has won from here thrice in February 2005, October 2005 and 2010, while the BJP candidate Kedar Prasad Gupta was elected as an MLA in 2015.
Gupta lost the 2020 elections by a narrow margin of mere 712 votes. Another point in his favour is that he managed to win the election when BJP and JD(U) were not together. The situation is similar now.
Thus, the BJP is likely to win here unless Mukesh Sahni's Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) plays a spoilsport for the party. Sahni has tried to woo both Nishad and Bhumihar communities who traditionally vote for the BJP.
Also read: Bihar: Why Kurhani By-Poll Will Indicate Future Of State’s Political Landscape
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