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BJP faces litmus test in UP, Rajasthan Jatland

Fate of minister Balyan, other Jat leaders at stake

BJP faces litmus test in UP, Rajasthan Jatland

Tribune News Service

Neeraj Mohan

New Delhi, April 18

The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections has set the stage for a high-stakes showdown in the Jatland regions of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, as political heavyweights lock horns amid shifting alliances and regional dynamics.

Famous political saying that the “west decides, what the east will do” is enough to tell that the western region of UP holds particular significance, with its outcomes often indicating the direction of the entire state’s political current, which in turn influences the national politics.

Western Uttar Pradesh, encompassing Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Nagina, Moradabad, Rampur and Pilibhit constituencies, will seal the fate of numerous leaders, especially key Jat leaders from the state, in the first phase of polling tomorrow. In Saharanpur, Kairana, and Muzaffarnagar, the BJP-led NDA faces a tough test against the Congress-Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The electoral arena here is brimming with three-cornered contests among the candidates of the BJP-led NDA, Congress-SP and the BSP. While most seats in western UP witness a direct confrontation between the INDIA bloc and the NDA, the BSP, with its strategic focus on the Muslim and Dalit votes, poses a formidable challenge.

Key leaders from the ruling BJP, as well as Opposition stalwarts from the Congress and SP, are engaged in intense battles across various constituencies.

Union minister Sanjeev Balyan locks horns with Harendra Malik of the Congress in Muzaffarnagar, while Kairana witnesses a fierce clash between SP’s Iqra Hasan and BJP’s Pradeep Chaudhary.

In Bijnor, contenders include Chandhan Chauhan of the Rastriya Lok Dal, Deepak Saini of the SP and Chaudhary Vijendra Singh of the BSP. Notably, Azad Samaj Party chief Chandra Shekhar Azad is contesting the Nagina (SC) seat.

Rajasthan is also bracing for high-stake showdowns. Having witnessed high-voltage campaigning by leaders of the ruling BJP and the Congress, the political landscape in the state is abuzz with anticipation, especially across its 12 constituencies slated to go to the polls tomorrow.

Several key leaders, including Union ministers and sitting MP, are in the fray from these constituencies including Ganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jaipur Rural, Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur, Karuali-Dholpur, Dausa and Nagaur. Most of these constituencies have considerable population of Jat and Muslim communities.

In Churu, all eyes are on the anticipated faceoff between BJP’s Devendra Jhajharia and Congress’ Rahul Kaswan, setting the stage for a fiercely contested electoral battle amid controversies surrounding party switches and local political dynamics.

In Sikar, the electoral landscape features a contest between Congress’ coalition partner CPM’s Comrade Amra Ram and BJP’s Swami Sumedhanand, with key issues like agricultural pricing and local initiatives taking the centre stage amid substantial Jat influence.

Nagaur is also poised for a close contest between two Jat stalwarts.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#BJP #Lok Sabha #Rajasthan #Uttar Pradesh

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