Massive Upset On The Cards For BJP In Uttar Pradesh As RLD Candidate Leads By Over 12,000 Votes In Khatauli
Khatauli comes under prominent BJP leader Sanjeev Balyan's parliamentary constituency, Muzaffarnagar.
Moreover, the BJP had won from the constituency in the Assembly elections held earlier this year.
Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (SP-RLD) candidate Madan Bhaiya is set to win Khatauli by-polls as he is already leading by over 12,000 votes after 12 rounds of counting.
This will be a huge setback to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh. The results are upsetting for the party for three reasons:
One, since 2007, this assembly constituency has always elected the party that is in power in the state. This means that the party which formed the government in the state got its candidate elected from here.
As the BJP has its government in Lucknow, its candidate Rajkumari Saini was expected to win in Khatauli but that doesn't seem to be happening.
Two, as we saw in the assembly elections held earlier this year, the SP-RLD alliance was unsuccessful in consolidating the Jat-Muslim votes together in western UP.
This trend has become more prominent post the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. But RLD's victory in Khatauli will prove that the party is still capable of attracting Jat votes in alliance with the SP.
Three, the BJP had either won (Assembly) or was leading in the segment in the last four elections in the constituency: 2014 Lok Sabha, 2017 Vidhan Sabha, 2019 Lok Sabha and 2022 Vidhan Sabha. It had won this seat in the last two elections. After BSP's decline, it was estimated that a good chunk of the all the votes of the SC communities too have come to the BJP.
Also, Khatauli comes under prominent BJP Jat leader Sanjeev Balyan's parliamentary constituency Muzaffarnagar. With such conditions, BJP was expected to win here but the results will upset the party.
To understand how the RLD candidate won, a look at his background might help. Madan Bhaiya is a four-time MLA from Khekra seat of Baghpat district and also a local strongman with many criminal cases against him.
He won on a Janta Party ticket in 1991, on an SP ticket in 1993, then as an Independent in 2002, and finally from RLD in 2007. However, he didn't win any election after this seat was delimited to form the Loni seat.
Since then, he has been with the RLD and contesting assembly elections on the Loni seat of Ghaziabad district. He came in second position in the 2012 and 2022 elections, while remained third in 2017 when RLD didn't form any alliance.
It was believed that his political career was almost over.
In Khatauli, however, Madan Bhaiya is set to return the state assembly. Political observers say that him belonging to the Gujjar community could have benefited him in Khatauli. It is estimated that around 27,000 voters from the community live here.
In the assembly elections held earlier this year, both BJP and RLD candidates belonged to the Saini community, which is estimated to have around 30,000 voters in Khatauli. The BJP had emerged victorious then.
However now, it seems that SP-RLD alliance successfully cracked the Jat-Gujjar-Yadav-Muslim equation in this assembly segment. Muslim community forms 27 per cent of the electorate here.
The contest in Khatauli was bipolar between the BJP and the SP-RLD alliance as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress did not contest the elections.
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