Updated: January 28, 2022 5:21:31 am
In a bid to firm up its alliance, the BJP has denied ticket to its three sitting MLAs and allotted their seats to ally Apna Dal (Sonelal). The three seats are Ghatampur (SC reserved) in Kanpur Nagar, Kaimganj (SC reserved) in Farrukhabad and Nanpara in Bahraich district.
Apna Dal (S), which on Thursday declared its candidates on these three seats, is hopeful of getting at least 16 more seats to contest in alliance with the BJP.
In Ghatampur, Apna Dal (S) has fielded Saroj Kureel, who came second on this seat twice — in 2012 and 2017 — as a BSP nominee. Saroj Kureel is daughter in-law of Jwala Prasad Kureel who was elected as an MP from Ghatampur in 1977 as a Janata Party candidate. In 2017 polls, the seat was won by BJP’s Kamal Rani, who later was inducted as a minister in the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet. But after her death due to Covid-19 in 2020, BJP’s Upendra Nath Paswan was elected in the bypoll. However, the BJP decided to allot the seat to its ally this time.
In Kaimganj, another SC reserved constituency, Apna Dal (S) has fielded Dr Surabhi, who finished second as an SP candidate in 2017 against BJP’s veteran leader Amar Singh.
Sources said the BJP denied ticket to Amar Singh considering that his age was above 75 years.
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Also, Surabhi, a dentist, had joined the BJP on January 17, but on Thursday she joined Apna Dal (S) to contest on its symbol. While Surabhi belongs to Scheduled Caste (SC), her husband — Dr Ajeet Singh Gangwar —who is also a dentist is Kurmi (OBC).
“We are hopeful that Dr Surabhi will get votes of both the SC as well as OBCs. As Apna Dal (S) has influence among Kurmi voters, the strategy may help the alliance to win,” said a BJP leader.
Meanwhile, with the sitting BJP MLA of Nanpara, Madhuri Verma, joining the SP a fortnight ago, the party allotted the seat to Apna Dal (S), which has fielded party national secretary Ram Niwas Verma from there.
By fielding candidates in Suar (Rampur district) and Kaimganj (Farukkhabad district), Apna Dal (S) is looking to expand its electoral reach beyond its traditional base in eastern and central UP region to western parts of the state. Speaking to The Indian Express, the working president of Apna Dal (S), Ashish Patel, said, “Our party has its base in over 230 Assembly seats across Uttar Pradesh. The party contests from wherever it gets the opportunity.”
When asked about the seat sharing with BJP, Patel said that Apna Dal (S) will contest on at least 19 or more seats this time.
In 2017, Apna Dal (S) in alliance with BJP had contested 11 seats and won nine.
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