Polling for the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017 ended on March 8. The politically crucial state witnessed a tough fight among three groups –BSP, BJP and SP-Congress alliance. Ever since the first phase of Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi staked his all in fight against the SP-Congress alliance and BSP. Urging the voters to end the ‘vikas ka vanvas’ (exile of development) in the state and projecting demonetisation as an attack against corruption, Modi and BJP accused SP and BSP of plundering the state over the years and targeted the SP-Congress alliance, saying the two had come together to save themselves. Joining hands with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav led the SP assault, while party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav kept away from the campaign following family feud. The two SP and Congress scions took on Modi over “suffering” of common man due to note ban and his “unfulfilled” promise of ‘acche din’. Akhilesh also reached out to voters banking on his “performance” and showcasing his government’s development works like Metro and expressways.
Number of voters
According to Election Commission of India, there are 3,01,726 electorates in Muzaffarnagar Assembly constituency. It has 1,65,013 male and 1,36,685 female registered voters.
What are the key issues
Muzaffarnagar grabbed the eyeballs after communal clashes broke out in the area in 2013. The spate of incidents claimed 60 lives and displaced over 40,000 people.
Cases were lodged against union minister Sanjiv Balyan and BJP MLAs Sangit Som and Suresh Rana in connection with Muzaffarnagar riots. While Balyan is a union minister, Som is contesting polls from Sardhana assembly constituency, Rana from Thana Bhawan, Saini from Khatoli and Malik from Budhana.
Paramilitary forces were deployed in all 887 polling centres in the riot-scarred district during the first phase of the high-stake Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections which took place on February 11.
More than 34 cases in connection with the violation of the model code of conduct were also registered in the district. Forty-three people were booked under Gangster Act.
Who was the winner last time
In 2012 assembly Elections, Samjwadi Party’s Chitranjan Swaroop bagged the seat after securing 59,169 votes. But in 2015 bielection, Kapil Dev Agarwal of BJP gained the seat from rival SP. He got 65,378 votes.
Who are the competing candidates
Incumbent MLA Kapil Dev Agarwal of BJP, Gaurav Swarup Bansal of SP, Payal Maheshwari of RLD, Murtaza Salmani of Communist Party of India, Rakesh Kumar Sharma of BSP, Reenu alias Sakshi Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and Sanjay Kumar of Bharat Janta Dal (Tughlaq).
Why this constituency is important?
The volatile communal atmosphere in the constituency and its surrounding areas made it an intriguing battle between BJP and SP-Congress alliance.