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Second phase polls: BJP, Mahagathbandhan set to lock horns in Uttar Pradesh's Amroha

BJP's incumbent MP from Amroha, Kanwar Singh (L); Danish Ali, Janata Dal (S) ex-general secretary, is fighting on a BSP ticket from the constituency (R). Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 15, 2019, 09.49 PM (IST)

As many as eight Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh will be up for a tight contest in the second phase of general elections on April 18. One of the key constituencies which will brave the electoral battle this Thursday is Amroha. 

What makes the contest in Amroha interesting is the fact that the result here, time and again, defies any set pattern. While the seat currently rests with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in 2009 Rashtriya Lok Dal's Devendra Nagpal had registered a victory here. 

In 2004, the constituency went to an independent candidate, whereas Mayawati's BSP swept the polls in 1999. 

Caste factor

The caste factor turns around the tables almost every time in Amroha, making it nearly impossible to predict the verdict here. The region, although dominated by Muslims, also sees considerable numbers of Jats - a double-edged sword, strong enough to swing results. Dalits also enjoy a sizeable presence, especially in the rural areas.

BJP versus Mahagathbandhan?

This time around, there seems to be a direct contest between the BJP and the Mahagathbandhan. BJP's incumbent MP Kanwar Singh is set to lock horns with Danish Ali, Janata Dal (S) ex-general secretary who is fighting on a BSP ticket. Congress had earlier given a ticket to BSP-turncoat Rashid Alvi but later decided to field Sachin Chaudhary. 

Congress' weak report card 

Interestingly, the seat has never fallen into Congress' kitty after 1984 when Ram Pal Singh won from the constituency. Since then, the electoral battle here has been largely alternating.

What's at stake?

Of late, the saffron party has been facing a negative sentiment from the region with the local Gujjar community expressing dissatisfaction with incumbent MP Kanwar Singh. Dalit Muslim polarization may negatively affect BJP's prospects. 

BSP may suffer because of its former MP Rashid Alvi switching camps and walking over to the Congress' side. However, the party's hopes run high with the Dalits, especially the Muslim-Dalit population, of the region. 

Although an INC candidate, traditionally, has been the weakest in the electoral fight in Amroha, it won't be a surprise if Sachin Chaudhary manages to snatch the constituency away for Congress this general election. He is the lone Dalit candidate and has age on his side, however, it must not be overlooked that he is set for a battle against much more experienced and established opponents.

Under the SP-BSP alliance, Mayawati's party will be contesting in 38 Lok Sabha seats of the total 80 seats while Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party will fight in 37 seats with three seats going to Chaudhary Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The alliance has decided not to fight for Congress strongholds in Raebareli and Amethi. 

Amroha will go polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 18. The results will be declared on May 23. 

Story highlights

Interestingly, the seat has never fallen into Congress' kitty after 1984 when Ram Pal Singh won from the constituency. Since then, the electoral battle here has been largely alternating.