UP poll phase 6: Samajwadi Party rebels an advantage for BSP

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This time the party is facing maximum rebel candidates who are all set to upset the party’s applecart.

Gorakhpur: As the elections in Uttar Pradesh enter the sixth phase, the battle for Lucknow intensifies. Campaigning for the sixth phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh ended on Thursday. Polling will be held on March 4 on 49 seats spread across seven districts that include Mau, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia.

In 2012, the Samajwadi Party had won 27 seats in this phase. This time the party is facing maximum rebel candidates who are all set to upset the party’s applecart.

Former SP ministers including Ambica Chaudhary and Narad Rai are contesting as BSP candidates in Ballia while Shadab Fatima and Vijay Misra are campaigning for the BSP.

Azamgarh, which has 9 assembly seats and is going to polls in this phase, is the parliamentary constituency of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav. In 2012 SP had won 8 out of the 9 seats but this time, the Samajwadi patriarch has not campaigned for SP candidates at all, following his differences with his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

To make up for his absence, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has held seven rallies in a day in Azamgarh but reports suggest that SP could face reverses in this constituency.

The BSP, which had won 9 seats in 2012 in this phase, is all set to make major gains this time. The party has fielded Mukhtar Ansari from Mau, his son Abbas Ansari from Ghosi and his brother Sigbatullah Ansari from Ghazipur and their presence in the BSP will bring Muslim votes for the other party candidates as well.

Mukhtar Ansari has been denied parole and is contesting from the jail. Another jailed contestant in this phase is Aman Mani Tripathi who is in the fray from Nautanwa in Maharajganj as an independent candidate. This phase is also crucial for the BJP which could manage only seven seats in 2012.

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