Voting for the Phase 1 of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017 kicked off with a sparkling voter turnaround. The first phase started with 73 seats of western part of UP where all major parties including Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party in alliance with Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party have staked their all in order to lure voters. BJP’s start campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has been aggressively urging voters to end the ‘vikas ka vanvas’ (exile of development) caused by the ruling SP in the state. While Mayawati-led BSP has been it a crucial triangular bet, she has been largely betting on the minor community and had claimed to form government with full majority.
Calling themselves a duo of young-leaders, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress VP Rahul Gandhi have joined forces to combat BJP, BSP and the RLD here. The two scions have been largely blaming centre’s demonetisation move for the halt in development of the state and claims that SP had taken up development works like Metro and expressways.
In the crucial first phase elections comes Budhana constituency which is No. 11 of Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly. It is situated in Muzaffarnagar district and comes under Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha constituency. It is an open constituency and SP had won the 2012 Assembly elections by 10,588 votes.
Number of voters
As per the Election Commission data, Budhana has 3,30,066 registered voters. There are 1,83,592 male and 1,46,472 female voters in the constituency.
What are the key issues
Along with other potential seats in the state, Budhana is crucial given the fact that is fall under the western UP region. It is a part of the Muzaffarnagar district and one of the five assembly constituencies in the Muzaffarnagar (Lok Sabha constituency).
Who was the winner last time
In the 2012 Assembly elections, Nawazish Alam Khan of SP won this constituency with more than 10,000 votes. He bagged 68,210 votes. The nearest contender was Rajpal Singh Baliya of RLD who got 57,622 votes. The voter turnout was 58.30 per cent.
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Why is this constituency important
Looking at the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots, the BJP has been keen to keep this vote base intact through its Hindu consolidation strategy, but government’s demonetisation drive has created an uproar against the party. Now it will be interesting to see that will the voters of this constituency once again back the saffron party or SP and BSP will grab the loop.