Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh: Five Reasons Why Kaushambi Is Challenging For The BJP

Nishtha Anushree

May 19, 2024, 11:10 AM | Updated 11:10 AM IST

Uttar Pradesh BJP president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh BJP president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Kaushambi is going to vote tomorrow (20 May) in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Here, the BJP candidate is a two-time MP and incumbent Vinod Kumar Sonkar.

In the past two elections, a Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate has been the runner-up. This time, the SP has fielded its youngest candidate, 25-year-old Pushpendra Saroj from here.

Here are five reasons why it is challenging for the BJP to win Kaushambi, a constituency reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates, for the third consecutive time:

1. Anti-incumbency: As Sonkar is seeking a third term, he is facing anti-incumbency in the constituency and some people are yearning for change.

2. The SP candidate: Pushpendra is the son of five-time MLA Indrajeet Saroj, who lost to Sonkar in 2019, and hails from the Pasi community, which has over 20 per cent voters in the constituency.

3. The 2022 elections: Of the five Assembly constituencies that are part of the Kaushambi Parliamentary seat, three were won by the SP in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections and two by the Jansatta Dal (Loktantrik) Party (JDLP).

Thus the BJP failed to secure any of these Assembly seats, making it difficult for the ruling party to gain back its support.

4. Absence of Raja Bhaiya: JDLP is led by Kunda MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiya. However, he has denied supporting any of the contesting parties.

This is despite his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP MP Sanjeev Balyan and the BJP candidate, leaving the BJP on its own.

5. Small margin of victory in 2019: In 2019, the BJP won by less than 40,000 votes, which is not a very comfortable margin for a Lok Sabha seat. With a factorof anti-incumbency, the SP can easily cover this margin.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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