Fazil Nagar: As voting is to be held tomorrow on March 3 for the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the political temperature is rising in Purvanchal. Difficulties for Swami Prasad Maurya, who came to Fazil Nagar after leaving Padrauna seat, are nothing less.
Former minister in chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet, Swami Prasad Maurya was among the prominent faces to exit the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh. With his switch to SP, he took along several other backward class (OBC) faces, leaving the BJP perplexed and confused.
As the sitting three-time MLA from Padrauna, Maurya has a huge influence, primarily in Purvanchal -which will go to polls in the final two phases on March 3 and 7. However, his future is far from certain in Fazil Nagar, from where he will contest on SP ticket against the BJP’s Surendra Kushwaha.
Surendra is the son of the current two-time MLA, Ganga Singh Kushwaha – who won the 2017 assembly polls by a whopping 48% vote share.
The other contestant is Ilyas Ansari, a former SP member, who was denied a ticket due to Maurya’s candidature and is now a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate, which will make it tough for Maurya to get the OBC and Muslim votes. Moreover, Muslims in the area are upset with the SP for ignoring Ilyasi, who has worked in the area for three decades.
On the last day of the campaigning, Maurya seemed positive to win the seat, as he told media, “The SP is in a position to get votes. It has become the power centre of UP politics. A big magnet attracts smaller magnets. We are forming the government, which is why people are leaving other parties and joining us”.
“The BJP is dreaming, but the party won’t succeed. Yogi will not even cross the 100-seat mark in these elections. They are anti-Dalit, anti-OBC and anti-Muslim.”
Whereas, his rival, Ilyas Ansari said, “I’m up against a mafia. I’m fighting a person who changes his party every day. Someone who tries to use money power to buy votes. But the people, who don’t take anything from me, are supporting me fully. In Gorakhpur and Basti area, we will hurt the SP.”
It will be interesting to see if the BSP will just be a tool to hurt the SP votes or will it come out as a strong contender for the Fazil Nagar seat? This question will be answered on March 10, on the day of assembly polls’ results.