Among the 71 seats in its kitty in UP, the BJP has opened its account for the first time at seven of them — Sambhal, Mainpuri, Ambedkar Nagar (earlier known as Akbarpur), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Phulpur and Lalganj. The party fielded first-timers on six of these seats.
In Sambhal, BJP candidate Satyapal Saini, who is party’s district president of Moradabad and contested for the first time, defeated SP’s Shafiq-Ur-Rehaman Barq by a slim margin of 5,174 votes. Sambhal is dominated by Muslims followed by Jatavs and Yadavs. A division of Muslim votes between SP and BSP — both fielded Muslim candidates — is said to have led to BJP’s victory.
In Ambedkar Nagar, Hariom Pandey, another newbie, defeated sitting BSP MP Rakesh Pandey by a margin of 1.39 lakh votes. Senior party leader Vinay Katiyar had contested here in 2009 and lost to BSP.
In Ghosi, the party had relied on former minister Hari Narain Rajbhar, a first-timer in Lok Sabha elections. Rajbhar, who had left BJP with former CM Kalyan Singh in 2009, has defeated BSP’s sitting MP Dara Singh Chauhan. Muscleman candidate of Quami Ekta Dal Mukhtar Ansari stood third here.
BJP candidate in Salempur Ravindra Kushwaha, son of former SP MP Harikeval Prasad, has defeated BSP’s Ravi Shankar Singh ‘Pappu’ by 2.38 lakh votes. In 2009, BJP had left Salempur seat for its then NDA partner, JD(U).
Ravi Shankar Singh ‘Pappu’, then JD(U) candidate, was placed fourth.
In Ballia, BJP candidate Bharat Singh has defeated sitting SP MP Neeraj Shekhar by 1.39 lakh votes. BJP’s Neelam Sonkar defeated BSP’s sitting MP Dr Baliram in Lalganj where Bechai Saroj of SP is paced stood second.
BJP MLA from Sirathu Keshav Prasad Maurya defeated BSP’s sitting MP Kapil Muni Karwariya in SP stronghold Phulpur. Maurya got over five lakh votes against SP candidate Dharam Raj Singh Patel and BSP’ Karwariyaget; both polled less than 2 lakh votes each. Congress;s Md Kaif stood fourth.
BJP, however, failed to record a win in SP stronghold Mainpuri. BJP nominee S S Chauhan lost to SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav after securing 2.31 lakh votes.