Saharanpur Lok Sabha seat: Muslim candidate of Congress-BSP a golden opportunity for BJP

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Voting is to be held in the first phase in Saharanpur district of Western Uttar Pradesh. This Muslim dominated seat has always been a challenge for BJP. Even in 2019, despite the Modi wave, BSP candidate Haji Fazlur Rahman had won from here by 20 thousand votes. Darul Uloom Institute, famous for Islamic education across the world, is also located in Deoband town of Saharanpur. Talking about the last election on Saharanpur seat, BSP candidate Haji Fazur Rahman had registered a big victory. There was an alliance of SP-BSP and Congress in that election, hence he was the joint winner of the opposition alliance. BJP’s Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma was at second position, with 4,91,722 votes in his account. In that election the BJP candidate had to face defeat by 20 thousand votes.

There are five assembly constituencies under Saharanpur Lok Sabha. In the assembly elections held in 2022, BJP won three seats and Samajwadi Party won two seats. Saharanpur Nagar, Deoband and Rampur assembly seats went to BJP, while Saharanpur Dehat and Behat assembly seats went to SP. Congress has won the Saharanpur seat the maximum number of times. From 1952 to 1971, Congress dominated this seat. Ajit Prasad twice and Sunderlal were elected MPs twice from this seat. Even in 1984, Congress made a comeback and won this seat. After this, in 2004, SP and in 2009, BSP had hoisted the flag of victory here. In the Modi wave of 2014, BJP had definitely won this seat. Now in the last elections the opposition had won from Saharanpur.

Talking about the caste equation of Saharanpur, there are more people of Muslim community here, their number is more than 35 percent. Dalit factor also matters on this seat and Bahujan Samaj Party has a strong hold on it, castes like Gurjar-Saini also play a decisive role. BSP founder Kanshi Ram not only lost to BJP’s Nakli Singh in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections but also came third. Rashid Masood of Congress was at second place. Nakli Singh became MP from BJP in 1996 and again in 1998. After this there was a drought for BJP till 2014. In the 2014 elections, BJP’s Raghav Lakhanpal ended the drought by winning in the Modi wave. This time also BJP has expressed confidence in Raghav Lakhanpal.

The first Lok Sabha elections were held from Saharanpur Lok Sabha seat in 1952. In 1952, Ajit Prasad Jain of Congress became MP for the first time from Saharanpur Lok Sabha seat. At that time Haridwar Lok Sabha seat also came under Saharanpur. Sunderlal of Congress had won from Haridwar Lok Sabha seat. Sunderlal of Congress also became MP in 1962, 1967 and 1971. Rashid Masood of Janata Party was the winner in 1977 and 1980. In 1984, Congress once again won and Yashpal Singh was elected. In 1989 and 1991, Rashid Masood was crowned MP from Janata Dal. For the first time in 1996, Nakli Singh won from the Bharatiya Janata Party, but the government fell midway. Nakli Singh again became MP in 1998. Even then the government did not do much. BSP’s account was opened here for the first time in 1999. Mansoor Ali Khan became MP. Similarly, Rashid Masood was elected MP from SP in 2004. In 2009, Jagdish Singh Rana of BSP, Raghav Lakhanpal of BJP in 2014 and Haji Fazalur Rahman of BSP once again became MP in 2019.

BJP candidate Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma said that he is winning this election by 2.5 to 3 lakh votes and there is no one in his competition. On the other hand, Congress candidate Imran Masood said that at this time democracy is being directly murdered. The Chief Minister of Delhi was sent to jail. In such circumstances, when the Constitution of the country is in danger, we should contest elections and protect the Constitution. At the same time, he described this election as between India Alliance and NDA. At the same time, he said that BSP is in alliance with NDA and BSP is giving benefits to BJP. BSP candidate Majid Ali announced his contest with BJP. He told that even in the 2019 alliance, SP had our vote bank and he declared SP out of this race. The total voters in Saharanpur Lok Sabha seat are 18.50 lakh voters which include 9.77 lakh men and 8.72 lakh women. This time too the challenge for BJP is strong. Congress candidate Imran Masood is in the fray from here under Indi alliance. It remains to be seen how much support he gets from Samajwadi voters. Here, since both BSP and Congress have Muslim candidates, Muslim votes are expected to be divided, which may benefit BJP.

– Ajay Kumar

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