February 28, 2012 3:28:33 am
All doesnt seem to be well with state power minister and BSPs prominent Brahmin face Ramveer Upadhayay in Mahamaya Nagars Sikandararau Assembly constituency. While his partys Brahmin-Dalit combination is in a good shape here,Upadhayay makes it a point to have his lunch and dinner with Thakurs and Yadavs these days. It is the ministers tactics,say his supporters,to split the Samajwadi Partys strong Thakur-Yadav combination in the seat.
Post-delimitation,Upadhyay chose Sikandararau as about 80 villages of his old constituency,Hathras,was included in the seat. However,just before the Assembly polls were announced,sitting BJP MLA Yashpal Singh deserted the BJP,became the SPs nominee, and put Upadhyay in a corner.
Yashpal is a Chauhan and the BSPs Brahmin-Dalit combination,numerically,isnt enough to counter the SPs new political Thakur-Yadav equation. Upadhayay,who has been eyeing Sikandararu since two years,had no inkling that Yashpal will move to the SP. Thakurs and Yadavs had always been political rivals,but Yashpal has suddenly made the SP a powerful force in this seat.
Upahdyay was recently in the news after he allegedly threatened to get UP Lokayukta removed from post. He had also allegedly challenged the Lokayuktas power to conduct inquiry against him. The Lokaykta is probing allegations of acquiring benami properties,and amassing assets disproportionate to his known source of income.
The minister owns a newly constructed house on the Hathras-Sikandararau road,but a board outside says it is mortgaged to a bank.
Upadhyay virtually runs a political empire in Hathras and its adjoining areas. His brother-in-law Satyendra Sharma is BSP nominee from Sikandararaus adjacent seat Sadabad while his brother,Vinod Upadhaya,is BSP candidate from Bulandshahrs Dibai seat. Upadhyays wife Seema Upadhayay is BSP MP from Fatehpur Sikri. His two other brothers,Mukul Upadhayay and Rameshwar Upadhayay are BSP MLC and head of a block development committee in Hathras,respectively.
While the presence of three men Upadhyays family has raised his responsibility within the BSP in this region,the prospects of all the three candidates dont look bright.
Do dabangon ki ladai hai. (It is a battle between two powerful rivals), is how one Rajesh Baghel,owner of a betel shop in Sikandararau,referred to the direct contest between BSPs Upadhyay and SP Chauhan.
Ramveer is also facing the ire of a section of voters because of his familys invovlement in local politics. Because of his family members frequent interventions even in village politics,he has many antagonists in the region. No one likes one family capturing all political power in a district. This has worked in favour of our candidate, said Kamal Singh,a supporter of Yashpal Chauhan.
Another factor which has gone against Upadhayay,is his decision to field his brother Vinod Upadhayay against former chief minister Kalyan Singhs son Rajveer Singh alias Raju Bhaiyya in Bulandshahrs Dibai seat.
This has blocked his chances of bagging the Lodh votes,which could be a decisive factor against him. He could have fielded any other person from his party against Raju Bhaiyya. Babuji (Kalyan) had played a role in the victory of his brother Mukul Upadhayay as a member of the legislative council, said former head of Mubarakpur Kapasiya Devendra Rajpoot.
He added that there are about 24 villages of Lodhi Rajpoots,having more than 20,000 votes in the constituency.
Upadhayays role in the creation of Mahamaya Nagar district has also backfired. Hathras was given the status of district way back in 1997. We had not favoured the creation of Hathras as a district then. We live in Wazidpur area that is close to Aligarh. After creation of Hathras,we are supposed to cover a distance of about 75 km from Wazidpur area,instead of 30 km which we used to cover when Wazidpur was part of Aligarh district, said Kripal Singh Rajpoot of Devipur village.
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