Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017 witnessed a tough fight among three competitors — BJP, BSP and SP-COngress alliance. During the campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi staked his entire political capital to beat the SP-Congress alliance and BSP and win majority for BJP. On a number of occasions, he urged voters to end the ‘vikas ka vanvas’ (exile of development) and projected demonetisation as an attack on corruption. PM Modi and BJP also accused the SP and the BSP of plundering the state over the years and and targeted the SP-Congress alliance, saying the two had come together to save themselves. Along with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav led the SP assault, while party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav kept himself away from the campaign following the family feud. The two scions took on Modi over “suffering” of common man due to demonetisation and his “unfulfilled” promise of ‘acche din’. Akhilesh also tried to reach out to voters on the basis of his “performance”.
Number of voters
According to the Election Commission data, there are 2,69,228 electorates in Kairana Assembly constituency, including 1,49,306 males and 1,19,919 females.
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What are the key issues
Last year Kairana had grabbed attention of the country when BJP MP Hukum Singh released a list of Hindu families, which the MP claimed had left their homes and fled after allegedly facing threat and extortion calls from criminal elements belonging to a particular community.
Political parties, especially Congress and Samajwadi Party, had slammed BJP for trying to stoke communal tension in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections.
Later in September, a probe team of National Human Rights Commission found that many families “migrated” due to threats pertaining to “increase in crime” and “deterioration” of law-and-order situation there.
The Allahabad High Court had sought to know from the Uttar Pradesh government what steps were taken to ensure the safety and security of Hindus in Kairana. A division bench comprising Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Verma had asked the state government to file its reply within two weeks and apprise the court about the whereabouts of the hundreds of Hindus, who had reportedly fled the town located in Shamli district of western UP.
Who was the winner last time
Nahid Hasan of Samajwadi Party is the incumbent MLA. He had won the by-election in October, 2014. However, in the 2012 Assembly elections, BJP’s Hukum Singh had won by 19,543 votes. Singh managed to secure 80,293 votes. Notably, the voter turnout was 66.03 %.
Who are the competing candidates
Anil Kumar of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Diwakar Deshwal of BSP, Nahid Hasan of SP, Mriganka Singh of BJP, Maseehulla of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Sandeep of Bahujan Mukti Party, Sarfaraj Khan of Lok Dal, Sahendra Pal of Bhartiya Vanchitsamaj Party, Dharmveer and Sethpal will be contesting as Independent candidates.
Why this constituency is important?
The most important issue in the constituency is communal tension. With the issue being raised prominently by BJP’s top brass, the outcome of the polls will have a bearing on the post-election socio-political developments in the region.
(With agency inputs)