LUCKNOW: After the outcome of Gorakhpur and Phulpur, Kairana and Noorpur are the next battlegrounds ready to test not only the tenacity of newfound opposition unity, second time in two months, but bypoll to the two seats will also be another litmus test for the BJP and CM Yogi Adityanath to save grace after biting dust in March. Kairana and Noorpur results will, obviously, set the tone for equations in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The by-election to Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly seats, slated for May 28, has been necessitated due to the demise of sitting BJP lawmakers—Hukum Singh and Lokendra Singh Chauhan respectively on the two seats.
After the resounding success of Gorakhpur and Phulpur, this is another opportunity for the regional satraps, including SP, BSP and RLD to join hands against BJP. As per the common understanding between SP and RLD leadership, while Kairana Lok Sabha constituency has been given to RLD, Noorpur (in Bijnore district) assembly constituency has fallen into the kitty of SP.
In Kairana, Tabssum Hassan has been fielded as common opposition candidate to take on BJP’s Mriganka Singh, daughter of Hukum Singh who was the sitting BJP MP. Tabassum is basically a Samajwadi Party leader contesting on the ticket of Rashirtiya Lok Dal (RLD) of Chaudhary Ajit Singh as RLD is supposed to enjoy a better clout in Jat dominated constituency. Notably, Tabassum Hassan has been a BSP MP from Kairana in 2009-14 and she later hopped to SP.
Meanwhile, the SP has fielded Naim-ul-Hassan in Noorpur aas the jpint opposition candidated. BSP, who immediately after the Rajya Sabha defeat on March 23 had announced that it would not take part in any bypoll till 2019 LS polls, is not in direct fray but has assured all support in garnering vote for joint opposition candidates.
Similarly, Congress too has not fielded any candidate and has extended support to RLD and SP candidates despite having a prominent presence in the area. Moreover, on Tuesday, Aaam Admi Party also joined the opposition bandwagon to stop the BJP from winning back the seats.
In fact, RLD, at present, has zero presence in both Lok Sabha and UP assembly while SP has 7 members in lower house of Parliament and 47 in UP Assembly.
While the political pundits believe that if the opposition gets to repeat Gorakphpur and Phulpur in Kairana, it will give a further push to its unity and efforts to stitch up a formidable alliance against BJP in 2019 General Elections.
On the other, the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to save grace on both the bypoll bound seats. It has fielded Mriganka Singh, Hukum Singh daughter in Kairana and Avni Singh, widow of Lokendra Singh in Noorpur in anticipation of sympathy vote.
The party has put a whole battery of ministers, MPs, regional MLAs, and other party leaders to action to sustain its hold on the two seats. Moreover, CM Yogi Adityanath himself is leading the campaign from the front and going ballistic. In a bid to repeat 2014, the CM is mincing no words in raking up 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and migration issues again to attack rival Samajwadi Party.
In 2014, BJP won Kairana by flagging out issue of migration of around 350 Hindu families in the aftermath of 2013 communal clashes. The party had woven its narrative around the alleged appeasement of minorities and exploitation of Hindus. Yogi Adityanath, the then star campaigner would exhort the electorate ‘to save Kairana from becoming another Kashmir.’
This led to huge polarisation of majority votes in BJP’s favour. Hukum Singh walked away with the seat with a huge margin. He polled 2.3 lakh more votes than SP’s Nahid Hassan. It was a multi-cornered contest in which Hukum Singh got 5.65 lakh votes followed by SP 3.29 lakh and BSP 1.60 lakh.
However, going by 2017 Assembly vote distribution, the cumulative vote count of SP, BSP and Congress in five assembly seats of Kairana parliamentary constituency stands out at 4.98 lakh which is more than BJP’s 4.32 lakh.
Under the given scenario, Kairana for every party will be a big risk for a small gain as term of the elected member would only be a few months but a loss will sent a loud message across, especially, in the run up to 2019 general