India Today
New Delhi

Uttar Pradesh will vote tomorrow in the penultimate phase of the marathon seven-phase state election, spanning 57 constituencies across 10 districts. These districts - Balrampur, Siddharthnagar, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar, Gorakhpur, Deoria and Ballia - have been witnessing a triangular fight between the BJP, the SP, and the BSP, who have rallied hard to woo the voters.

The sixth phase tomorrow will take elections to the state's Purvanchal, or eastern part - Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's backyard. He is contesting the polls from Gorakhpur, where he is the head priest of a temple, as well.

The region has traditionally been overshadowed by dalit and backward caste politics and the Bahujan Samaj Party is a force to reckon with. Of the 19 seats Mayawati's party won in 2017, five were from here.

OBCs: The Segment All Parties Are Trying To Woo

Union minister Pankaj Chaudhary, a member of the Lok Sabha from Maharajganj, has been made the face of the Other Backward Castes, or OBCs, in this region. Caste plays a prominent role in the politics of Maharajganj, a district which shares borders with Nepal. Maharajganj has a reputation for changing the flow of the political wave.

A kurmi by caste, Pankaj Chaudhary told India Today TV that the central government has made its intentions of serving the OBCs clear.

"The representation of the backward classes has increased many folds in the Modi government. The representation we see today hasn't happened in the past," he said.

The district's OBC communities include Kurmi-Patel, Chourasia, Nishad, Yadav, Maurya, Chouhan, Sonar, Naayi and Lohar; Brahmins constitute only 12 per cent of the total electorate. A small percentage of the Kshatriya and Kayastha community also live here.

'Akhilesh Yadav And His Mungeri Lal Ke Sapne For UP'

"Akhilesh only showed mungeri lal ke sapne to the people. People had hoped he would transform the state, but unfortunately that did not happen. Akhilesh shagufe chodte rahe and that is why he was tossed aside by the people of the state," Chaudhary said, launching a scathing attack on the former chief minister.

In his campaigns, Akhilesh Yadav has talked extensively about the development work - constructing expressways and airports - his government undertook between 2012 and 2017. Poking a hole in Yadav's claims, Pankaj Chaudhary, said, "Akhilesh talks about expressways and says it was his government which laid the foundation for expressways and other development work. Let me tell you only lakhs were approved for projects. After 2017, under the BJP government, real work has happened."

151 out of 670 candidates contesting in the sixth phase, or 23 per cent, face serious criminal cases - of rape and murder, according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

37 of the 57 constituencies going to polls tomorrow are 'Red alert' constituencies, where three or more contesting candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method