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BJP feels the heat in new OBC-Muslim seat

Bhadokhar was part of Sohawal (SC) constituency which now does not exist.

Written by Sanjay Singh | Bhadokhar(faizabad) | Published: January 26, 2012 2:09:50 am

Situated about 10 km from Faizabad city,this Muslim-dominated village is new on the map of BJP’s most prestigious Assembly seat,Ayodhya,after delimitation. Since it has more than 3,000 voters,its political importance for those who want to dislodge the BJP from Ayodhya is obvious. Facing the heat is BJP MLA Lallu Singh,who is looking to enter the Assembly for the sixth time since 1991.

Before the delimitation,Bhadokhar was part of Sohawal (SC) constituency which now does not exist. A unique feature of Bhadokhar is that it has only Muslims and OBC population,and the OBC’s are mostly Yadav. Further,Maya block,which had remained a BJP stronghold in the past,has been excluded from Ayodhya. Lallu Singh had won in 2007 by a margin of about 6,500 votes.

But the people of Badkohar are not excited by their inclusion in Ayodhya. “We are at a loss because of the inclusion of Bhadokhar in Ayodhya constituency. As a voter of erstwhile Sohawal seat,we have extracted maximum benefits like construction of roads in the village and opening of a new government school because of our population. Neither do we vote for the BJP nor its candidates ever approached us seeking our vote in any election,” Mohammad Shahab explained.

Many other villagers agree that Bhadokhar’s inclusion in Ayodhya is not good for their village. “Please go and see the condition of Faizabad’s localities which have Muslim population. Lallu Singh has not spent any money from his MLA fund in areas like Kasabbara,Rath Haveli and Sabji Mandi,” a youth Tausif Ahemad said.

Haji Munnan said peace and security always remained high on the mind of Muslim voters. “This is a new situation for us to face in this assembly election,” he added. Nasir Ahemad alias Guddu,the village “Pradhan”,said,“Although our sympathy is for Peace Party,but we will support the Samajwadi Party candidate in Ayodhya.”

Aware of the fresh challenges,which he faces after delimitation,Lallu Singh has been spending sleepless nights to remain in constant touch with the voters of rural areas,which he rarely did in the past,depending mostly on the urban voters in his constituency.

On Wednesday afternoon,a visibly tired Lallu,along with his few supporters,was taking a break from campainging and eating biscuits to kill hunger at Fatehpur Mumtajabad village. He had toured several villages,including Sarai Rashi,Rajepur,Dwarikapur and Ayami.

“Aadha Din Shahar Mein,Aadha deen Dehat mein (First half of my day is for the city while I visit rural areas in the second half,” Lallu Singh told this reporter about his routine these days. He has got new sports shoes so that he can walk. “Somebody has gifted me,these are is good for election time,” he said.

Asked about the changes in the map of his constituency,Lallu tried to put up a bold face. “My one good quality is that I remain available for my voters all the time. I never miss to attend any function in my constituency. Even Muslim don’t oppose me personally,” Lallu said.

He does not want to talk about the Ram temple issue. “Have you ever heard the BJP saying that it would build a grand temple in Ayodhya. It says it would support the move to construct a temple,” Lallu said.

Lallu Singh’s problem is that the BSP has fielded a local businessman Ved Gupta who has potential to make a dent in the BJP’s support base among traders. Congress candidate is Rajendra Singh,who is close to the party’s Faizabad MP Nirmal Khatri. Both Rajendra and Lallu are Thakurs. The SP has fielded a young candidate Pawan Pandey who is visting the villages. Then there is Gulshan Bindu,a eunuch,in the fray.

Lallu’s supporters hope there would be a division of Muslim votes due to the presence of Peace Party candidate Rajan Mishra. “In the last Lok Sabha election,the Peace party had performed well in the Ayodhya assembly constituency,” his one supporter said. Another supporter felt the situation might change after the tour of BJP’s prominent leaders. Uma Bharti would campaign in this constituency on January 27.

There is no dearth of voters who felt that Lallu Singh is facing tough fight. “Pahli Bar Ghira hai (he appeared

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