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This article was first published 1 year ago  » News » In Azam Khan's Rampur, BJP ally defeats SP in assembly bypoll

In Azam Khan's Rampur, BJP ally defeats SP in assembly bypoll

By Arunav Sinha
May 13, 2023 19:45 IST
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The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition on Saturday ended Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's over four-decade dominance in Rampur with its ally Apna Dal-Sonelal winning the Suar assembly by-election by a margin of 8,724 votes.

IMAGE: Apna Dal-S president Anupriya Patel during a party event in Lucknow. Photograph: ANI Photo

Shafeek Ahmed Ansari of the Anupriya Patel-headed Apna Dal-Sonelal secured a little over 50 per cent of the total votes polled in the bypoll, according to the Election Commission website.


Ansari polled 68,630 votes and his nearest-rival and Samajwadi Party nominee Anuradha Chauhan bagged 59,906 votes.

More than 1.35 lakh votes were polled in the by-election held on May 10.

The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress did not field candidates on the seat.

Ansari said his win is a result of the collective effort and hardwork of BJP and Apna Dal-Sonelal workers.

With this victory, the ruling coalition ended Azam Khan's over four-decade hold in the Muslim-dominated Rampur district.

Azam Khan and his family watched the poll outcome on TV at their Jail Road residence.

Of the five assembly constituencies under Rampur Lok Sabha seat, Bilaspur, Rampur and Milak-SC are held by the BJP.

Chamrau is held by SP and Suar has been clinched by BJP's ally Apna Dal-Sonelal.

The Rampur parliamentary constituency, also a stronghold of Azam Khan, was won by the BJP.

SP's Muslim face from the days of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Azam Khan remained undefeated in Rampur Sadar assembly seat since 1980 irrespective of the party in power.

In November 2022, Azam Khan's name was removed from the electoral roll in Rampur after he was convicted in a 2019 hate speech case.

As a result, he could not cast his vote in the by-election in Suar.

In February 2023, Abdullah Azam Khan's name was struck off the electoral roll after his disqualification from the legislative assembly.

A Moradabad court had sentenced him to two years in jail in a 15-year old case.

Campaigning for SP candidate Chauhan, Azam Khan had asserted she will win the election.

"If there is any injustice (in terms of poll results), it will be a deceit," he had said.

He also took potshots at Apna Dal-Sonelal, saying, "The candidate who has come with a plate (referring to the party's cup-plate symbol), he is with those who want to give a knife to your (next) generation."

Referring to his son's conviction by a court and subsequent disqualification as MLA from Suar, which necessitated the bypoll, Azam Khan had claimed that there was 'no one who can defeat him'.

Reacting to Azam Khan's claims after the poll results, BJP MLA from Rampur Akash Saxena said, "Azam Khan has lost his mental balance, hence he is speaking like this."

Saxena asserted Azam Khan was 'getting the punishment for his deeds'.

"The person who has no right to cast his vote, that person after seeing the mandate of the people, should leave the country, and should not stay here. The politics of hatred will not work here. Azam Khan had always worked to create rift between Hindus and Muslims," Saxena told PTI.

In the assembly election last year, Abdullah Khan defeated Apna Dal-Sonelal's Haidar Ali Khan in Suar.


Apna Dal-S retains Chhanbey seat

Apna Dal-Sonelal candidate Rinki Kol defeated Samajwadi Party's Kirti Kol to win the bypoll to the Chhanbey (SC) assembly seat in Mirzapur by a margin of 9,587 votes.

While Rinki Kol polled 76,203 votes, Kirti Kol bagged 66,616 votes in a keenly contested electoral battle.

Voting for the Chhanbey assembly seat was held on May 10.

The Apna Dal-Sonelal candidate secured 46.7 per cent of the votes polled, while the SP candidate's vote share stood at 40.82 per cent, according to the Election Commission.

Congress candidate Ajay Kumar could muster only 1.56 per cent of the votes, a little more than the NOTA share, which stood at 1.51 per cent.

The Bahujan Samaj Party did not field any candidates from the seat. In all, eight candidates were in the fray.

The total votes polled in this assembly constituency was over 1.63 lakh, according to the Election Commission website.

Apna Dal-Sonelal chief and Union minister Anupriya Patel is the MP from Mirzapur.

The Chhanbey seat fell vacant following the death of sitting Apna Dal-Sonelal MLA Rahul Prakash Kol in February.

Though the bypoll result would not impact the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh as it enjoys more than two-third majority, it is considered important for the political parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as the state sends the highest number of 80 members to Lok Sabha.

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Arunav Sinha
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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