With the counting of bypoll elections showing an over 19,000 votes lead for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate, the contest which was expected to be a close one between the united opposition and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), appears to be heading towards a lopsided conclusion. With counting of votes now in its final stages, RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan appears to heading towards a clear victory in the crucial Uttar Pradesh parliamentary seat.
Optimistic about winning the Kairana seat and defeating Mriganka Singh, daughter of late Hukum Singh, who held the seat till his demise, RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary thanked other opposition parties for their support. “(I) Would like to thank all parties who supported us, thank Akhilesh ji, Mayawati ji, Rahul ji, Sonia ji, CPI(M), AAP and others. Jinnah hara, Ganna jeeta,” Chaudhary, who is the son of Chaudhary Ajit Singh, was quoted as saying by ANI.
Chaudhary’s mention of ‘Jinnah hara’ is attributed to the recent outrage in the Aligarh Muslim University, when some right wing organizations objected to the portrait of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the AMU student body hall. The campus unrest occurred after local BJP sought an explanation from the university administration regarding the portrait and opposition slammed BJP of communalising the state before the Kairana and other bypolls.
Talking about the lead,Tabassum Hasan said, “This is the victory of truth. I still stand by what I said, there has been a conspiracy and we do not want any future elections to be conducted on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). The path for the united opposition is clear in 2019,” ANI reported.
BJP candidate Mriganka Singh said, “Many voters did not vote for BJP but with a lead of some thousand votes alliance has won. I would like to congratulate the candidate. The alliance has emerged strong and now we have to prepare better for future.” ANI reported.
Kairana came to limelight when late Hukum Singh raised the issue of exodus of Hindus from the area. The issue took Uttar Pradesh politics as well as the Parliament by storm and was a prominent poll issue in the 2017 state assembly elections.
The other Lok Sabha seats where the bypolls were held are Palghar in Maharashtra, where the BJP has won; Nagaland seat, Gondia-Bhandara in Maharashtra. Apart from this, 10 assembly seats also went to polls. These included Ampati in Meghalaya, Chengannur in Kerala, Shahkot in Punjab, Jokihat in Bihar, Gomia and Silli in Jharkhand, Palus Kadegaon in Maharashtra, Tharali in Uttarakhand, Maheshtala in West Bengal and Noorpur seat of Uttar Pradesh.