The contest in Noida was being seen as a battle of prestige for BJP. The outcome of the polls will have a bearing on the country’s political landscape. Touted as the semi final before the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, assembly polls are the litmus test for political parties and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. SP-Congress alliance led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi and BSP spearheaded by Maywati have made it essentially a triangular contest. Urging the voters to end the ‘vikas ka vanvas’ (exile of development) 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, as party patriarch Mulayam kept away following family feud, with the two scions taking on Modi over “suffering” of common man due to note ban and his “unfulfilled” promise of ‘acche din’. Akhilesh also reached out to voters on his “performance”, claiming his government had taken up development works like Metro and expressways.
Number of voters
According to data available with the Election Commission of India, Noida has a total of 4,28,259 electorates. The constituency has 2,49,289 male registered voters and 1,78,970 female voters.
What are the key issues
BJP has fielded Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh who is making his electoral debut in this crucial Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh. Pankaj (38), an MBA from Amity University, has been active in politics since 2002 and had been in ticket contention since 2007 Assembly election when he was almost set to make his debut from Chandauli, the home town of Rajnath.
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BJP has decided to field Pankaj this time in place of sitting MLA Vimla Batham, who had won the 2014 bypolls. The election in this seat is also important for Union Minister and local MP Mahesh Sharma who has considerable influence the area with his chain of hospitals and NGOs.
It may not be such a smooth going for BJP this time following Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and the high-pitch campaign by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav with his slogan of ‘kaam bolta he’ as a leader who delivers.
Who was the winner last time
In the 2012, Mahesh Kumar Sharma of BJP won this constituency by 27,676 votes. BSP’s Omdutt Sharma of BSP got 49,643 votes. In 2014 assembly by-election Vimla Batham of BJP won the constituency.
Who are the competing candidates
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh is contesting on the BJP ticket. Brijesh of Rashtriya Lok Dal, Ravikant of Bahujan Samaj Party, Sunil Choudhary of Samajwadi Party, Kishore Singh of Bharatiya Democratic Socialist Alliance Party.
Why this constituency is important?
Several Union ministers have come to campaign for Pankaj, who is also going door-to-door with his wife to reach out to voters. A section of BJP unit feels that Noida was considered a safe seat and that is why the ticket was given to Pankaj, who is also state party general secretary. BJP’s detractors have alleged that the party which had been vocal against dynastic politics has been forced to give tickets to kin of its prominent leaders.
Observers say that while the SP-Congress alliance may change the equation, it has to be seen if Congress votes will go in the kitty of SP. Also, BSP has been stronger than these two parties in the area.