BSP facing biggest threat from its own sitting MPs

| | Lucknow
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BSP facing biggest threat from its own sitting MPs

Thursday, 23 May 2024 | Preetam Srivastava | Lucknow

Having won four Lok Sabha seats in the last parliamentary elections out of the constituencies going to polls in the sixth phase in Uttar Pradesh on May 25, Bahujan Samaj Party is facing the biggest threat from its own sitting MPs who deserted the party to contest the election from other political outfits.

Those whom BSP once trusted the most and fielded them ignoring the demands of party cadre, today they are challenging the BSP by becoming strangers for the party. In this sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in the three constituencies which BSP had won last time, its rebel MPs are now challenging it by going to the rival camp. Now it remains to be seen how much success these BSP rebels get from other parties and how the BSP army is able to defeat them.

Last time, the BSP had won the Ambedkar Nagar, Shravasti, Lalganj and Jaunpur Lok Sabha seats amongst the 13 constituencies which will go to polls in this phase. Except Jaunpur, the MPs representing the other three constituencies have joined other parties. Ambedkar Nagar MP Ritesh Pandey is contesting the election on BJP ticket. Shravasti MP Ram Shiromani has joined the Samajwadi Party and is contesting as its candidate. Lalganj MP Sangeeta Azad has joined BJP, but the ruling party has given ticket to Neelam Sonkar from there. Actually, Jaunpur MP Shyam Singh Yadav was also looking to contesting the election on the ticket of some other party, particularly Congress, but after formation of INDIA Bloc and SP and Congress joining hands, he was left with no other option but to wait for Mayawati’s nod to again contest on BSP ticket to retain his seat.

Interestingly, the BSP had given its ticket to gangster-turned-politician Dhananjay Singh’s wife Shrikala Singh from Jaunpur, but just a day before the last day of nomination, her ticket was withdrawn and sitting MP Shyam Singh Yadav was asked to file his nomination from Jaunpur. Now Dhananjay and his wife are supporting BJP candidate Kripa Shankar Singh.

It is to be seen what support these sitting BSP MPs will get after they shifted their loyalties to contest the elections on tickets of other parties or support them.

Talking in terms of caste equation, Dalit voters in Ambedkar Nagar are said to be around 28 per cent. Muslims are around 15 per cent and Brahmins are around 14 per cent. The BSP has placed its bet on Muslim candidate Qamar Hayat Ansari on the basis of Muslim and Dalit equation. In Shravasti, Muslims are said to be around 28 per cent and Dalits around 17 per cent. The BSP had won the last election on this equation when it was in alliance with SP.

This time the BSP has placed its bet on Muslim candidate Moinuddin Ahmed from Shravasti. Lalganj is a safe seat for BSP as 27 per cent voters are Dalits and 14 per cent are from Muslims. Due to it being a reserved seat, the BSP has fielded Dr Indu Chaudhary from Lalganj. Indu Chaudhary is assistant professor in the English department of Banaras Hindu University. Now it remains to be seen how successful the BSP’s strategy will be and how many voters support it especially when its sitting MP Sangeeta Azad has left the party to join BJP and is supporting Neelam Sonkar. 

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