LUCKNOW: The Hamirpur bypoll in Uttar Pradesh, which is the first to be held after the Lok Sabha elections, is all set to to be a bitter four-cornered fight between the Congress, BSP, SP and BJP.
The bypoll which is scheduled for Monday has been necessitated due to the conviction of sitting BJP MLA Ashok Kumar Chandel, in a 22-year-old murder case and his subsequent disqualification. This is the first time since 2014, that the bypoll will be fought for, minus any alliances.
In 2017, Samajwadi Party and Congress had fought the state assembly polls by allying. In 2019 though, SP in its big battle for Delhi had gravitated towards arch-rival Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and had stitched up a grand alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to stop the saffron juggernaut, BJP. Even the RLD was also taken into its fold leaving out the Congress which had contested on its own.
Thus, the Hamirpur bypoll will be the first electoral contest since SP and BSP parted ways after the crushing LS defeat. While BSP could salvage some pride by taking its tally from zero to 10, SP lost the plot by failing to add even a single seat to its kitty. In the process it has also lost its family strongholds.
Hamirpur bypoll is set to lay the turf for bypolls to a dozen other assembly constituencies in the state in the near future. These seats got vacated after the sitting MLAs were elected to Lok Sabha in 2019 polls. Of the 12 seats, while BJP had sitting MLAs in 10, SP and BSP had one each in Rampur and Jalalpur of Ambedkarnagar, respectively.
In a bid to retain the seat, BJP’s entire organisational machinery has made Hamirpur its base.Ministers and senior party leaders, including state chief, are paying back-to-back visits to the constituency. The party has fielded Yuvraj Singh, a thakur from a prominent political family for the constituency. Singh is a turncoat as he had switched sides from SP to the BJP in 2015. Earlier, Singh had been a Congress MLA and SP MLC as well.
Internal problems brewing
As the Samajwadi Party proceeds to seek disqualification of Shivpal Singh Yadav, its MLA from Jaswantnagar, under the anti-defection law, the former state chief of SP announced that he was ready to contest the bypoll consequent to his disqualification.