With less than a month for the bypolls to the Kairana parliamentary and Noorpur assembly constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh, political parties in the state are making all out efforts to win the seats and carry the momentum to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
With less than a month for the bypolls to the Kairana parliamentary and Noorpur assembly constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh, political parties in the state are making all out efforts to win the seats and carry the momentum to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Kairana Lok Sabha seat fell vacant due to the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh in February, while the bye-poll to the Noorpur Assembly seat was necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MLA Lokendra Singh Chauhan in a road accident the same month. Both the bypolls are crucial for ruling BJP as well as opposition parties, as they may set the tone for the 2019 parliamentary elections.
The BJP will make extra effort to retain both the seats to try and send a message to voters, party cadres — as well as opposition parties — that the drubbing in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bye-elections were a closed chapter now, and that it was still strong in western UP. Opposition parties — the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Congress — are perceiving this as another opportunity to send a signal to the voters that the saffron fortress has been breached.
Exuding confidence that his party will win both the bye-elections, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “Both the leaders who had represented the seats (Kairana parliamentary constituency and Noorpur assembly constituency) were immensely popular among the masses, and worked for the cause of the public. And, hence the people of the region have an emotional bond with them.”
He added, “The massive improvement on the law and order front, especially in the western region of the state, where a number of encounters took place and criminals were arrested, has ushered in a positive environment. Apart from this, the timely payment to sugarcane farmers will also go in the party’s favour.”
Taking a dig at opposition parties, the spokesperson said, “There are doubts over the unity among them.” The Congress rebutted the claims, with state unit spokesperson Ashok Singh saying, “The bypolls will act as a perfect occasion to defeat the BJP ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and send a strong signal across the country.”
“Strategy in this regard is being worked out by the party’s central leadership. And, I am confident that the BJP will be defeated and its fortress breached.” When contacted, SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said his party has already done its poll preparations till the booth level. “We are ready to take on the BJP on both the seats. Whether it will be a SP candidate supported by other parties or any other party candidate supported by the SP will be decided by party president Akhilesh Yadav.”
Voting in the bypolls for Kairana and Noorpur seats will be held on May 28. The counting of votes for both the constituencies will take place on May 31. The notification will be issued on May 3 and the last date for filing of nomination is May 10. Scrutiny will be taken up the next day, while the last date of withdrawal is May 14. Kairana parliamentary constituency comprises five assembly segments — Shamli, Thanabhawan, Kairana (all in Shamli district) and Gangoh and Nakur (Saharanpur district).
The Election Commission will set up 883 polling centres in these five assembly constituencies. More than 15 lakh voters (of Kairana) are likely to exercise their franchise in the bye-elections. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s Hukum Singh had bagged 5,65,909 votes as he defeated Nahid Hasan of the SP who got 3,29,081 votes.