Last three phases of polls in UP to put OBC leaders on test

Last three phases of polls in UP to put OBC leaders on test. — IANS

Lucknow, May 13 (IANS) The remaining three phases of elections in Uttar Pradesh will be a test for OBC leaders in the state. The performance of these leaders and their parties will decide their future in the NDA.

Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) President Om Prakash Rajbhar, also a minister in the UP government, has been making tall claims about the influence he wields on the Rajbhar community.

The BJP has given him the Ghosi seat on which he has fielded his son Arvind Rajbhar. His son’s candidature has already caused resentment in the community which wanted other members to contest the seat.

If Om Prakash Rajbhar manages to win the Ghosi seat, his position in the NDA will be secure but if he fails to do so, he may face problems. Rajbhar is already known for his controversial statements.

Nishad Party President and UP minister Sanjay Nishad also faces the challenge of ensuring his son Parveen Nishad’s victory. Parveen is seeking re-election from his Sant Kabir Nagar seat on the BJP symbol.

He had first won a by-election from Gorakhpur in 2018 on the Samajwadi Party ticket.

Sanjay Nishad claims to wield influence over 27 Lok Sabha seats and his son’s performance in Sant Kabir Nagar will validate his claims.

The Anupriya Patel-led Apna Dal (S), a BJP ally since 2014, also faces a test this time.

The Apna Dal (S) has been winning two seats that it got in 2014 and then again in 2019.

This time, Anupriya is contesting from Mirzapur but the Samajwadi Party has pitted Ramesh Bind, sitting BJP MP from Bhadohi, who on Sunday joined SP, against her.

In Robertsganj, the Apna Dal (S) has denied a ticket to the sitting MP Pakodi Lal Kol and has named Rinki Kol — his daughter-in-law — as the candidate.

The family feud has come out in the open and this could harm the party.

Another OBC leader whose popularity will be on the test, in these elections, is UP Minister Dara Singh Chauhan.

Dara Singh Chauhan quit the BJP in January 2022 to join the SP.

However, when the BJP formed government again in 2022, Chauhan quit SP and returned to BJP. He fought a by-election but lost to SP.

The BJP made him a member of the Vidhan Parishad and then a minister. Chauhan also claims to be a custodian of Lonia Chauhan votes and NDA’s performance in Ghosi in these polls will determine whether Chauhan has any hold over his community votes.

BJP rebel Swami Prasad Maurya is also facing a crucial test from Kushinagar Lok Sabha seat.

Maurya had revolted against the BJP in 2022 to join SP and then left SP in February this year after issuing statements against Sanatan Dharm.

He sent feelers to INDIA bloc members but got no response and is now contesting as a candidate of his own Rashtriya Shoshit Samaj Party.

Maurya’s diatribe against the BJP ensured that his daughter Sanghmitra Maurya was denied a ticket from Budaun.

Maurya, sources claim, is looking for a return to BSP after the polls.

Two other OBC leaders whose fate will also be sealed in these elections are Krishna Patel and her daughter Pallavi Patel of Apna Dal (Kamerawadi).

The mother-daughter broke away from SP in March and later formed an alliance with AIMIM — called PDM (‘Pichda, Dalit and Musalman’) alliance — hoping to strike it rich in the Lok Sabha polls.

However, the euphoria vanished and the PDM could announce only seven candidates.

Those who were looking forward to a face-off between the warring sisters Anupriya and Pallavi in Mirzapur are sorely disappointed because Pallavi is not contesting the polls.

She will have to decide her own future after the Lok Sabha polls because she was elected from the Sirathu assembly seat on the SP symbol in 2022.

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