India

UP Election: Why Amit Shah is starting from western UP instead of Braj?

Western UP: Amit Shah’s election campaign starting from Kairana is pointing towards a new strategy of BJP in western UP. This may increase the difficulty of Akhilesh Yadav.

Amit Shah’s entry is going to happen in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections (UP Election 2022) from Saturday. The party was earlier going to start the campaign of Amit Shah from Braj region, but at the last moment it was changed to Kairana. Western UP is being considered as a painful vein of BJP due to the farmers’ movement led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait. Now the thing to understand is that what happened all of a sudden that BJP started seeing possibilities in western UP and Amit Shah himself has come forward to take over the command. The beginning of Amit Shah’s campaign from Kairana is clear of new equations, which may give a jolt to the Samajwadi Party.

The tease of Muzaffanagar riots still remains

Amit Shah is starting door to door campaign from Kairana on 22nd January. He will also have public programs in Shamli and Meerut. Amit Shah’s meeting with party workers has also been kept in Baghpat. The main reason behind Amit Shah taking over the reins himself in western UP is the tussle in the vote bank of SP and RLD. In the 2017 UP assembly elections, due to Muzaffarnagar riots, the SP suffered a big loss, especially in western UP, while the BJP got a big advantage. The SP-RLD felt that after many years, the Muzaffarnagar riots would not become a major issue in western UP, but the tussle of the riots is still there, which seems to be cutting the Jat-Muslim vote of the SP and RLD alliance.

It is becoming difficult for SP-RLD to bring Jat and Muslim vote bank together

After the ruckus on the first list, SP-RLD is also understanding the factor of riots, which is why SP and RLD have not fielded a single Muslim candidate in Muslim-majority Muzaffarnagar district. There are 40 percent Muslims in Muzaffarnagar district. In such a situation, a double crisis appears in front of the alliance. If the Muslim leader was given ticket, the Hindu vote would have been scattered, now the Muslim has not fielded, then obviously there is a danger of losing the Muslim vote. SP-RLD had released 29 names in the first list of candidates from western UP, out of which 9 were Muslim candidates. There was a lot of ruckus on this list of SP-RLD. There was resentment towards RLD and SP, especially among Jat voters.

BJP got a chance from the list of candidates: Survey

In the ABP News-C Voter Survey, when Muslim candidates were asked a question on this controversy over the ticket, in the answer, 54 percent agreed that Akhilesh Yadav has given a big opportunity to the ruling BJP by giving tickets to the controversial leaders. In such a situation, only time will tell how much SP gets benefit by bringing RLD i.e. Jat vote bank party together and how much Muslim vote can SP get itself, but this situation has definitely given an opportunity to BJP.

The arrest of Nahid Hasan has given the issue to BJP.

This time the SP itself has given the biggest reason for Amit Shah to start campaigning from Kairana. From here, the candidate declared on SP ticket, Nahid Hasan has been arrested. Now it is being said that SP can give ticket to Nahid Hasan’s sister Iqra Hasan from Kairana. At present, Iqra is also doing door to door campaign in Kairana. Nahid Hasan was booked under the Gangster Act on 6 February 2021. Due to Nahid Hasan, SP’s Muslim friendly image in the vicinity of Kairana is forcing the Jat voters to think. This is the factor that Amit Shah is starting the campaign from Kairana itself. Anyway, BJP has made exodus of Hindus in Kairana a big issue. Issues such as the Muzaffarnagar riots and exodus of Hindus helped the BJP to increase its penetration in western UP.

BJP won 80 percent of seats in 2017

Talking about the 2017 UP assembly elections, then BJP had won about 109 seats out of 136 in western Uttar Pradesh. SP could win only 21 seats here, while Congress could get two and BSP could get only three seats. The effect of Muzaffarnagar riots was evident in the last election and the effect of Narendra Modi wave was also there in the entire state, now it has to be seen how many seats BJP gets over western UP in 2022 UP elections. Talking about the equation of western Uttar Pradesh, there are about 27 percent Muslim voters, while Jat 17 percent, Dalit 25 percent, Gurjar 4 and Rajput 8 percent. It is true that SP has the support of Muslim population for many years, but in case of polarization, Dalits, Rajputs, Jats, Gurjars, Rajputs vote outright. This is the reason why whenever there is polarization, Hindu votes get gathered in favor of BJP.

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Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is an Indian based entrepreneur who is a tech, travel and coding enthusiast with a post graduation degree on Master's of Computer Applications. He is a founder of Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Hitchhike TV, Branding Panther and many more.

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