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Politics of Kasganj: Agrarian dominance, OBC control

Such has been the control of the agrarian community in the area that a Lodh-Rajput candidate has won every election from Kasganj Assembly segment since 1977, barring 2007 state elections when Hasratullah Shervani of the BSP was elected.

Written by Lalmani Verma | New Delhi | Updated: January 28, 2018 6:47 am
kasganj, up communal clashes, uttar pradesh, obc, hindu muslim violence, indian express Situation tense in Kasganj on Saturday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Kasganj, where one person died in communal clashes on Friday, and violence was reported on Saturday, lies in an area of near-total domination of agrarian communities — Lodh-Rajputs, Kachhi (Shakya) and Yadavs, all OBC communities — along with a significant presence of people from the minority community.

Such has been the control of the agrarian community in the area that a Lodh-Rajput candidate has won every election from Kasganj Assembly segment since 1977, barring 2007 state elections when Hasratullah Shervani of the BSP was elected.

While the then Mayawati-led BSP government had carved out a separate district from Etah in 2008 and named the new district Kanshiram Nagar — the Samajwadi Party (SP) government of Akhilesh Yadav renamed it Kasganj in 2012 — Kasganj town, where the incidents of communal violence has been reported from, comes under Etah Lok Sabha constituency.

Barring 1980 and 1984, Etah has sent a candidate from either of the three OBC communities to Lok Sabha in every election since 1977: Mahadeepak Singh Shakya (1977, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998), Devendra Singh Yadav (1999, 2004), Kalyan Singh (2009), and his son Rajveer (2014). Rajveer, the present MP from Etah, was in attendance at today’s funeral of Abhishek Gupta, who died in Friday’s firing.

kasganj, up communal clashes, uttar pradesh, obc, hindu muslim violence, indian express

While Mahadeepak is from Kachhi community, Devendra comes from Yadav and the father-son Singh duo from the Lodh community, reflecting the political grip of these three agrarian communities in and around the area.

The two exceptions were Pyarey Miyan of Lok Dal in 1984 — he won against the odds, when Congress swept the then undivided UP after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, winning 83 of 85 seats; Lok Dal chief Charan Singh won the other seat — and Congress’s Malik Mohammad Mishir Khan in 1980.

Former UP CM Kalyan Singh was elected to the Assembly from Kasganj in 1993, the elections soon after the demolition of the Babri Masjid — Singh was the CM when the mosque was razed the year before. Singh, however, resigned from Kasganj while retaining his membership from Atrauli.

While BJP won Etah Lok Sabha seat in four consecutive elections between 1989 and 1998, and again in 2014, the party won Kasganj Assembly seat in 1991, 1993, 1996 and 2017.

Although Mayawati carved out Kasganj as Kanshiram district, comprising the Assembly segments of Amapur, Patiyali and Kasganj, the party did not reap the political benefits even in the state elections immediately afterward: in 2012, SP won Kasganj and Patiyali, the BSP bagged only Amapur in 2012.

In 2017, the BJP swept the seats, ahead of SP candidates in all three seats.

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  1. Keep Calm
    Jan 28, 2018 at 6:45 pm
    Junaid dies during a fight over a seat dispute in a train. Media: Muslim youth lynched by Hindus for eating beef. Chandan Gupta hacked to death for celebrating Republic Day. Media: One dead, many injured in clashes over Tiranga Yatra in UP’s Kasganj.
    (2)(0)
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    1. Saksham Yadav
      Jan 28, 2018 at 11:15 am
      one more - rahul upadhyay succumbed to injuries.
      (1)(1)
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      1. S
        Sonu Malik
        Jan 28, 2018 at 8:35 am
        The main culprit is India's electoral first past the post rule to win. So even if some can HOPE to get 15, of votes he can win assembly or LS elections. That's there is fight for even 5 population of a caste. So the political parties are on a razor' edge and keep a howk's eye on any turbulence that has the potential to bring in even 1 of the votes. Unless it is 50 votes needed to win , these divisions will be created by political parties.
        (7)(0)
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        1. Raman Govindan
          Jan 28, 2018 at 8:10 am
          with all regard to kanshi ram, i am happy that naming a district after him did not polarize the voters on on intended caste basis!
          (2)(4)
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          1. Socrates Santos
            Jan 28, 2018 at 7:14 am
            Blind casteism is the bane of agrarian regions of the nation - and that of course covers a lot of the nation. Casteism has not only continued to survive but has flourished in the rural India ever since 70 years of political Independence, and is certainly one of the banes of an otherwise vibrant democracy. The problem is much diluted in the urban areas - and it appears the driver of that change in cities has been education, jobs and equitable opportunity. Rural areas have a long way to go, easily next 100 years if politicians do not bugger up as always, to be able to rid themselves of this evil. Political support for this noble work is just a pipe-dream - BJP tried to fight Bihar elections on a caste-free basis, but was not successful. Other parties are only exacerbating the caste situation for vote banks - like in Gujarat.
            (4)(12)
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