Nagina: The Epicenter of Blue Politics in Western Uttar Pradesh

Targeting the chief of the Azad Samaj Party during the rally, Akash Anand, who is the nephew of the BSP supreme Mayawati, said Chandra Shekhar Azad instigates youths to initiate protests on diverse issues

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Awanish Vidyarthi
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Nagina constituency
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Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) national coordinator Akash Anand launched his party's campaign in the Nagina Lok Sabha constituency of West Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. He urged BSP supporters not to be swayed by Azad Samaj Party (ASP) chief Chandra Shekhar Azad "Ravan," who is contesting in the same constituency.

 

Nagina could witness one of the most fiercely contested electoral battles in the upcoming general elections. Akash emphasized that BSP chief Mayawati has urged youths to stay vigilant regarding the "game plan" of Azad, who is attempting to divide the Dalits under the direction of leaders from rival parties.

Targeting the chief of the Azad Samaj Party during the rally, Akash Anand, who is the nephew of the BSP supreme Mayawati, said, "Azad instigates youths to initiate protests on diverse issues. When cases are filed against these youths, he abandons them and moves elsewhere. He sought a ticket from the INDIA bloc, but the parties declined to consider him. Presently, he is traversing from one location to another, soliciting votes."

The epicenter of Dalit political battle

Akash Anand fervently championed the BSP's dedication to positive politics, anchored in justice for marginalized sections, while decrying what he labeled as the "negative politics" of certain individuals. As the presumptive heir of BSP president Mayawati, Akash Anand's rhetoric resonated deeply with the assembled crowd, urging them to be wary of hollow promises and to reject those who sought to undermine the struggles of marginalized communities.

Meanwhile, against the backdrop of this political theater, Nagina has emerged as a battleground constituency, with contenders from the Dalit political sphere jostling for leadership roles. The waning electoral base of the BSP has only added to the intrigue, heightening the stakes of the competition for dominance.

In the shadow of Mayawati's storied parliamentary debut from Bijnor in 1989, the historical significance of the BSP in the region loomed large. Yet, with the emergence of new challengers like Chandra Shekhar Azad and the BJP's Om Kumar, the electoral calculus was shifting, injecting fresh complexity into the race.

As alliances shifted and strategies evolved, the fate of Nagina hung precariously in the balance. It has become a hot seat in Uttar Pradesh West because "Ravan" is contesting here; if he wins, the entire politics of western Uttar Pradesh can change. After Mayawati, a new leader will emerge for the 21% Dalit population in western Uttar Pradesh, which neither SP, BSP nor the BJP want.

Akhilesh Yadav's Calculated Moves

In the political chessboard of western Uttar Pradesh, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's strategic maneuvering stood out as a testament to his ambition and foresight. As the electoral battleground heated up, Akhilesh's decision to withhold support for Chandrashekhar "Ravan," the charismatic leader with the potential to reshape the region's political landscape, sent shockwaves through the political establishment.



Akhilesh Yadav, the astute politician, had his eyes set firmly on the future. Recognizing the burgeoning influence of Ravan and his ability to mobilize Dalit-Muslim votes, Akhilesh made a calculated move to keep Ravan within his fold, refusing to support him under the banner of the Samajwadi Party (SP). Instead, Akhilesh opted to field Dalit candidates on general seats, a strategic ploy aimed at curbing the BSP's political dominance and consolidating his own power base.

In the corridors of power, whispers of Akhilesh's political machinations reverberated, as analysts and pundits speculated on the implications of his actions. With Ravan's option for Dalit-Muslim votes touted as youthful and broader, the potential for him to emerge as a formidable force in the upcoming assembly elections loomed large, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the established order.

Mayawati's Resilience: BSP's Response to Political Maneuvering

Yet, amidst the political intrigue and maneuvering, Mayawati and the BSP remained undeterred. Understanding the underlying message behind Akhilesh's actions, they redoubled their efforts, leaving no stone unturned in their quest to retain their political stronghold. Every possible avenue was explored, every potential ally courted, as the BSP sought to maintain its position as a formidable political force in the region.

2019 Lok Sabha Elections

In the 2019 general elections, Girish Chandra, the BSP candidate backed by the alliance of SP and BSP, secured a resounding victory, garnering an impressive 568,378 votes. Dr. Yashwant Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party trailed behind with 401,546 votes, highlighting the enduring influence of the BSP-SP alliance and the potency of their electoral strategy.

With a staggering difference of 166,832 votes and a total electorate of 1,586,117, the Nagina constituency emerged as a key battleground.

Nagina's Demographic Landscape

Nagina constituency has about 21% Scheduled Caste voters. Muslim voters are also significant here, forming a large portion of the electorate. Considering all assembly seats coming under this Lok Sabha constituency, there are more than 50% Muslim voters. The constituency was formed in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. In the first election, Yashvir Singh Dhobi of SP won from Nagina. In 2014, amidst the Modi wave, Dr. Yashwant Singh of BJP was elected as MP, but in 2019, he couldn't retain the seat against the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate Girish Chandra. In the recent Vidhan Sabha elections of 2022, Om Kumar, a three-time MLA from the same area, contested for BJP and won again despite tough competition. Now, Akhilesh Yadav has fielded Manoj Kumar, a former judge, on the SP ticket to challenge BJP. Manoj Kumar has been working among people in the Nagina constituency for a long time.

Jayant Chaudhary, the president of the National Lok Dal, was the biggest supporter of Chandrashekhar, but due to Jayant's alliance with the BJP, Chandrashekhar's equations got messed up. Now, the BJP government has tried to send a positive message to the Jatav community by providing 'Y Plus' security to Chandrashekhar.

In western Uttar Pradesh, several Lok Sabha constituencies boast substantial Muslim populations. Rampur leads the list with 42%, followed closely by Amroha at 32%, and Saharanpur at 30%. Bijnor, Nagina, and Moradabad each have 28% of Muslim residents, contributing significantly to their electoral dynamics. Muzaffarnagar follows closely with 27%, while Kairana and Meerut round out the list with 23% Muslim population each. These demographics play a crucial role in shaping the political landscape of the region.

Chandra Shekhar Azad Nagina Parliamentary seat Akhilesh Yadav Western Uttar Pradesh Akash Anand Lok Sabha elections