At a time when Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi are doing roadshows in Uttar Pradesh urging voters to trust the SP-Congress alliance, their candidates in Bijnor’s Chandpur assembly constituency seem to be on a collision course. Interestingly, both the parties have fielded their own candidate on this seat, despite the much celebrated alliance. The sitting MLA from this constituency is BSP’s Mohammad Iqbal and giving him the challenge this time are two Muslims candidates from Congress and Samajwadi Party each. While Congress has fielded Sherbaz Pathan, the SP has given ticket to Arshad Ansari. Also fighting elections here is BJP’s Kamlesh Saini. But with three Muslims in fray here, the Muslim vote bank is likely to get divided.
According to the 2011 census, the total population in Bijnor is seven lakh, out of which SC/ST’s population is 2.5 lakh and 1.5 lakh are Muslims. The rest are Jats, Yadav and other backward class. People here agree that development has taken place here in last five years. But while some give credit to the ruling SP government in UP, others acknowledge sitting MLA Mohammad Iqbal. However, on health and infrastructure front, a lot is to be done here. The hospitals lack equipment and medicines and roads are in bad shape.
The ruling Samajwadi Party had formed an alliance with the Congress to give a call for crushing BJP’s ‘divisive politics’ of anger for the progress, prosperity, peace and people of Uttar Pradesh in the Assembly elections. The SP gave away 105 seats to Congress, keeping with itself 298 seats. With an aim to tell people that the two parties were their choice in the elections, Rahul and Akhilesh launched the poll campaign with a tagline ‘UP ko ye saath pasand hai’ (UP relishes this alliance). But the fight in Chandpur will be interesting to see.