UP Assembly Bypolls: An Issue of Survival for Opposition, a Challenge for BJP to Retain Seats

Lucknow: The political parties in Uttar Pradesh have started gearing up for the bypolls in 12 seats across the state, the dates for which were announced by the Election Commission on Saturday. This will probably be for the first time that all the major parties in the state will be contesting without forming any alliance among themselves, especially the Bahujan Samaj Party, which is contesting bypolls after a very long gap in the political history of the state.

While it will be a challenge for the ruling BJP to retain all the 10 out 12 assembly seats which are going to bypolls, it will not be anything less than a question of survival for others, including the Samajwadi Party and the BSP, which had one assembly seat each in their kitty out of the 12 seats.

The election body announced October 21 as the date for bypolls in 11 seats and the counting of votes will take place on October 24. The polling date for Tundla assembly seat of Firozabad is yet to be announced. Meanwhile, the Hamipur assembly seat in the state is undergoing polling today.

Assembly constituencies that will vote on October 21 include Gangoh, Rampur, Iglas (SC), Lucknow Cantonment, Govindnagar, Manikpur, Pratapgarh, Zaidpur (SC), Jalalpur, Balha (SC) and Ghosi. Barring the Rampur, where SP managed to win, and Jalalpur, bagged by BSP, the rest were with BJP.

Till now the Samajwadi Party has announced three candidates, including Kiran Bharti from Balha, Maharaj Singh Dhangar from Tundla and Chaudhary Indrasen from Gangoh assembly seats.

The BSP has announced 11, namely, Zuber Khan Masood from Rampur, Abhay Kumar from Iglas, Ramesh Chandra from Balha, Sunil Kumar Chittaur from Tundla, Arun Dwivedi from Lucknow Cantt, Devi Prasad Tiwari from Govind Nagar (Kanpur), Rajnarayan from Manikpur, Ranjeet Singh Patel from Pratapgarh, Akhilesh Kumar Ambedkar from Zaidpur, Chaya Verma from Jalalpur and Abdul Qayyum Ansari from Ghosi.

The ruling BJP is yet to announce the candidates for bypolls and the list is expected during the Navratras which commences from October 19.

Meanwhile, Congress has announced five names, including, Umesh Kumar Diwakar, Sneh Lata, Karishma Thakur, Sunil Mishra and Rajmangal Yadav as its candidates from Iglas, Tundla, both reserved for scheduled castes, Govindnagar, Jalalpur and Ghosia seats respectively.