Party (SP)-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) which seeks to capitalize on the combined strength of Akhilesh Yadav and Jayant Choudhary. It will also be a litmus test for nine ministers of Adityanath government: Srikant Sharma from Mathura, Atul Garg from Ghaziabad, Suresh Rana from Thana Bhawan, Kapildev Agarwal from Muzaffarnagar, Sandeep Singh from Atrauli, Laxminarayan Chaudhary from Chhata, Anil Sharma from Shikarpur. , GS Dharmesh from Agra Cantt and Dinesh Khatik from Hastinapur. Among the 11 districts that will see polls, elections will be held in Shamli, Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura and Agra.
In the 2017 elections, the BJP won 53 out of 58 seats, while the SP and BSP won two seats each, and the RLD won one seat. Voting will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. Voting will take place using Covid-19 security protocols and guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission from time to time. While voters are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and use sanitizer while voting, election officials will also be provided with a COVID-19 kit to run the election smoothly. All persons will be thermally scanned before allowing them to enter the EVM room. The electoral commission may reserve the last hour of the ballot for voters positive for Covid-19.
The BJP’s campaign in the UP west revolves around CM Yogi Adityanath’s development board and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dual-powered government narrative. The party has also tried to discredit the Samajwadi party by highlighting past issues, including the alleged “exodus” of Hindus from Kairana before the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2017 and 2013. Meanwhile, the SP-RLD groupement centered his campaign on farmers’ issues and attacked Adityanath on poll promises.
Among the seats to watch are Kairana, Muzaffarnagar and Noida. Kairana, in the spotlight for the alleged exodus of Hindu families, has been a hot potato for all parties. BJP leaders alleged that a large number of Hindus were forced to migrate from Kairana due to threats during the rule of the Samajwadi party before 2017. The party made it a major polling board, which was pointed out by Interior Minister Amit Shah launching his election campaign. .
During the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013, more than 60 people lost their lives and several were displaced. The riots have driven a wedge between the very famous ties between the Muslim and Jat communities. The BJP then won the support of Jat farmers significantly – in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, 2017 UP Assembly polls and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But the 2020 farmers protests- 2021 helped rekindle Jat-Muslim ties.
In Noida, BJP UP Vice President Pankaj Singh will face a challenge from Sunil Choudhary of SP, Pankhuri Pathak of Congress and Pankaj Awana of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Canvassing for the first phase remained confined to virtual support due to a ban on road shows and physical gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first phase will cover the Jat-dominated belt of western UP, from where farmers had actively participated in the agitation against the Center’s Three Farm Bills in the nation’s capital. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls will be held in seven phases in February-March starting February 10. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
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