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2nd phase of UP assembly election: Why it’s do or die for Samajwadi Party | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The second phase of election in Uttar Pradesh, being held in 55 seats on Monday, is a do or die battle for the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP)-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) combine as more than half of the constituencies are Muslim-dominated and this minority community is poised to vote for the alliance.
Traditionally, SP has banked upon Muslims and Yadavs (MY) to come to power. While Muslims make 19 per cent of the state’s population, Yadavs constitute 9 per cent of the state’s 24-crore population.
However, SP in the current election. is also depending upon Jats in a major way. It has tied up with Jayant Chaudhary-led RLD.
Jayant’s grandfather late Chaudhary Charan Singh, former prime minister of the country, was the tallest leader of the Jats who are about 2 per cent of the population. His father late Ajit Singh, a former Union minister, was also a JAt leader of the state.
The first phase of election on 58 seats on February 10 covered most of the seats where Jats are the dominant caste.
SP vote bank looks like JYM (Jats, Yadavs, Muslims) in the election underway in UP.
SP-RLD’s fate hinges on western UP, Muslim-dominated seats and the belt around the bastion of Akhilesh Yadav in Mainpuri where Yadavs hold a decisive sway.
The chances of the alliance will grow dim if it does not fare well in even one of the three belts of influence.
Of the 55 seats going to polls in the second phase of the election, Muslims constitute more than 50 per cent of the population on nine seats, between 40 and 50 per cent population on 14 seats and between 30 and 40 per cent on another 14 seats. They are less than 30 per cent of the population on the remaining 18 seats.
Muslims are above 30 per cent of the population in 37 of the 55 constituencies going to polls in this second phase of the election in UP.
Nine districts of Rampur, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Bijnor, Sambhal, Amroha, Moradabad, Saharanpur and Bareilly are going to polls in the second phase.
Nagina, Sambhal, Amroha, Rampur, Deoband and Chamraua constituencies in these nine districts are dominated by Muslims.
SP Lok Sabha MP from Rampur Azam Khan, who is in jail on charges of fraud, is contesting the assembly election from his stronghold of Rampur.
Azam Khan’s son Abdullah Azam is contesting from the Swar seat. He is pitted against Haider Ali Khan, a descendant of the erstwhile nawabs of Rampur.
Haider Ali Khan is contesting on an Apna Dal (Sonelal) ticket. Apna Dal (S) is an alliance partner of the BJP-led NDA.
Former minister Dharam Singh Saini, who quit the BJP to join SP, is contesting from Muslim-dominated Nakur.
The BJP had won 38 of the 55 seats in 2017, while SP had won 15 seats. The Congress was victorious on the remaining two seats.
SP and Congress had contested the election by stitching a pre-poll alliance in 2017. They garnered a vote share of 34 per cent.
The BJP led in 27 assembly constituencies in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and it garnered a vote share of 38 per cent.
SP contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party. They led in 28 assembly segments.
The outgoing ministers of the Yogi Adityanath government who are facing an election in this second phase of election include jal shakti minister Baldev Singh Aulakh from Bilaspur, urban development minister Mahesh Chandra Gupta from Badaun and secondary education minister Gulab Devi from Chandausi.
A total of 586 candidates are in the fray on 55 seats in the second phase. The third phase would be held on February 20, fourth phase on February 23, fifth phase on February 27, sixth phase on March 3 and the seventh phase on March 7.
Counting of votes would take place on March 10.

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