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Bijnor's Special Place In Mayawati's Heart

By Archis Mohan
April 18, 2024 19:50 IST
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The BSP leader won the Bijnor Lok Sabha seat in 1989, her first electoral triumph.


Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh will vote in the first phase on April 19.

The history of the Bijnor Lok Sabha constituency is intertwined with the rise of the Bahujan Samaj Party and its party chief Mayawati.

In 2019, Malook Nagar won the seat for the BSP 30 years after Mayawati debuted in the Lok Sabha from the constituency in 1989.

However, two interesting Lok Sabha bypolls had preceded Mayawati's 1989 success from Bijnor.

In 1985, a bypoll was held for the Bijnor seat after the passing away of Congress MP Girdhari Lal. The Congress fielded debutante Meira Kumar, who had quit the Indian Foreign Service to follow her father, former deputy prime minister and the most prominent Scheduled Caste leader, Jagjivan Ram, in politics.

Kumar struggled to beat the Lok Dal's Ram Vilas Paswan, at the time a two-term former MP from Bihar's Hajipur, by less than 6,000 votes.

Mayawati, who could not contest on her party's symbol as the BSP was still unrecognised, trailed at number three, but gnawed into the Congress support base, securing 61,000 votes. Paswan and Mayawati punctured Kumar's ambitions of becoming Jagjivan Ram's legatee in UP.

Two years later, in 1987, the Congress's Ram Singh won in a Lok Sabha bypoll from the Haridwar seat. Mayawati was the runner-up, losing by nearly 14,000 votes. Paswan was pushed to number four. More embarrassingly, he forfeited his deposit and ambitions to emerge a leader of UP's Dalits.

In 1991, Mayawati lost from Bijnor to a BJP candidate. She also lost from Bulandshahr and Haridwar. However, the BSP was part of the coalition government in Lucknow two years later, and Mayawati became the state's chief minister in 1995.

The BSP's rise in UP contributed to the Congress's decline in India's most populous state.

For the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has left the seat for its ally, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, to contest in a three-cornered fight against the Samajwadi Party and BSP.

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Archis Mohan
Source: source
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024