Lucknow, June 20:
By-polls to Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats are to be held in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. In the by-election, where Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party have thrown their full strength in Azamgarh, on the other hand, BJP has put more than a dozen of its ministers in the election season to conquer the fort of Rampur. Asim Raja, close to SP’s strongman Azam Khan, is alone on one side, and on the other, a long army of BJP ministers and leaders who want to penetrate the fort of Rampur at any cost. If political pundits are to be believed, then the Lok Sabha by-election is not going to prove to be less than Agneepath for Azam.
Compared to Azamgarh, the army of 16 ministers landed in Rampur
Compared to Azamgarh, the ruling party in Rampur has deployed at least 16 ministers of state to campaign among voters. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya addressed public meetings on Sunday, while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is scheduled to address two public meetings on Tuesday, the last date for campaigning in support of Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi. The BJP candidate, who is a former SP MLC, is up against Azam’s longtime aide Asim Raja.
The command of ministers in the hands of Suresh Khanna
Senior ministers who frequently visit Rampur include Finance Minister Suresh Khanna, who has so far met lawyers from local traders’ associations, chartered accountants and the Tax Bar Association. Social Welfare, Scheduled Castes and Tribes Welfare Minister, former IPS officer Aseem Arun has addressed meetings of Jatav Dalits in different areas. The BJP has also deployed Secondary Education Minister Gulab Devi and Minister of State for Revenue Anup Pradhan to reach out to the Dalits.
Preference to OBC-Brahmin and Dalit ministers
The BJP has sent Basic Education Minister Sandeep Singh, Union Minister of State for Cooperation BL Verma and UP Irrigation Minister Dharampal Singh to the constituency to mobilize voters of the Lodh community classified as Other Backward Classes (OBC). Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Jitin Prasad has addressed meetings of the enlightened class (intellectuals) and Brahmins. While UP Panchayati Raj Minister Bhupendra Singh Choudhary is camping in the area, Kapil Dev Agarwal, Dharamvir Prajapati, Jaswant Saini and Rakesh Sachan are some of the other ministers who have visited Rampur.
Chances of winning are higher in Rampur than in Azamgarh
A senior BJP leader said, “We are focusing more on Rampur as the chances of winning that seat are higher as compared to Azamgarh. The BJP had won this seat in the past. The contest is likely to be close due to the majority of Muslims. Hope. We have to avoid division of Hindu votes. We have deployed ministers and leaders according to caste equations to attract voters. We are giving special attention to Dalits as BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) is not contesting elections. And this is an opportunity for us to win.
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BJP fielded a dozen ministers in Rampur
Story first published: Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 11:34 [IST]