Electoral battle for poorvanchal intensifies: SP, BSP push harder
With four phases of polling already over in Uttar Pradesh, the two remaining phases on 7 May and 12, covering 33 seats in Poorvanchal or eastern Uttar Pradesh have become crucial for all political parties, especially the BJP which is aiming to capture lost ground.
The twin cities of Azamgarh and Varanasi have emerged as crucial in the fight and are likely to affect all seats in the eastern region. The region is crucial for the Samajwadi Party and the BJP as the former is fighting against poaching on its turf, and the latter is trying to regain the ground it lost in the past two decades.
The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party are booth taking the contest in Poorvanchal very seriously following political predictions which say that both Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav could face a political debacle in the region.
Mulayam, who is contesting from Mainpuri in western Uttar Pradesh and Azamgarh in the east, had to rush to the latter city in a bid to curtail the Modi wave. The SP president is slated to camp in Azamgarh for at least two days before the end of the campaign on May 10.
Similarly, Modi, who is contesting from Varanasi, which is close to Azamgarh, will also be camping in Varanasi for four days starting 6 May. The Congress has also sent a couple of its senior leaders like Gulam Nabi Azad and Satyavrat Chaturvedi and some others to camp in Varanasi till the campaign ends. In contrast to the SP, BJP and Congress’ loud campaigning, the BSP has been quiet. Speculation is rife that the Modi wave has dented the BSP’s Dalit vote bank and the strategy of fielding Modi from Varanasi seems to have paid off.
UP BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai told reporters here that Poorvanchal is the most important region for the party and this time a sort of record would be created there. ‘Out of the 33 seats going to polls in the next two phases, BJP could win at least 25 seats,’ he claimed. The BJP had made significant inroads into eastern Uttar Pradesh first time after the euphoria generated in the wake of the kar seva movement at Ayodhya in 1990 and the subsequent demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
In the 2009 general election, the BJP had won only four seats — Varanasi, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur — in the region. This time, the BJP is confident of raising its tally.