13 Apr 2024

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Election-2024: What is opposition doing to counter BJP's Arun Govil riding on wave of Hindutva in Meerut?

Lok Sabha Election-2024: The atmosphere in the election campaign of Arun Govil, BJP candidate from Meerut who played the role of Shri Ram in the TV serial Ramayana, is devotional. BJP has fielded Arun Govil from Meerut seat in Western Uttar Pradesh.

To compete with BJP's Arun Govil, riding on the wave of Hindutva, the opposition is working on a strategy to balance social and caste equations.

After changing two candidates, Samajwadi Party has now fielded Sunita Verma on Meerut seat.

The party hopes that BJP can be challenged by mobilizing backward, Dalit and minority votes.

Samajwadi Party MLA Atul Pradhan, unhappy over being denied ticket, is now saying that he will support the party's candidate Sunita Verma.

Atul Pradhan says, “We are MLAs, we have always struggled. We want to take the socialist movement and struggle forward. Whatever platform party president Akhilesh Yadav asks me to go to, I will go.”

However, Atul Pradhan does not openly say that he will enter Sunita Verma's election campaign with full strength.

Party has fielded a Dalit candidate as per strategy: SP

Samajwadi Party says that as per the strategy, the party has fielded a Dalit candidate from Meerut.

Vipin Chaudhary, president of Samajwadi Party in Meerut, says, “The party saw a strong candidate and replaced the already announced candidate with Sunita Verma. There are a large number of Muslims here and Sunita Verma comes from the Dalit community, the party hopes that she will be able to consolidate the votes of her community.”

Israr Saifi, a local leader of the Samajwadi Party, says, “Despite the large number of Muslims, our party has nominated a Dalit candidate on this seat so that the BJP can be challenged.”

At the same time, Sunita Verma claims that she is getting votes from the entire society as well as her own Dalit voter class.

Yogesh Verma, husband of Sunita Verma, who was the chairperson of Meerut Municipality, is a former MLA.

Yogesh Verma says, 'Respect for Dalits is our biggest issue, Akhilesh Yadav is working to connect backward classes, Dalits and minorities, this is our biggest issue.'

Some political analysts believe the caste alliance between Muslims and Dalits sometimes overshadows Hindutva issues. Samajwadi Party has made Sunita Verma its candidate here, if she is able to consolidate Dalit votes then the party can challenge BJP here.

BSP is contesting the elections silently

While BJP and alliance candidates are in the fray with great enthusiasm, Bahujan Samaj Party is contesting the elections silently. There is silence at the party office.

BSP's Meerut division in-charge Mohit Kumar says, “Bahujan Samaj Party has fought the elections of 2009, 2014 and 2019 strongly. The core vote of Bahujan Samaj Party is with it, the vote bank of the party always remains with the party. Our party's votes can be transferred somewhere else only on Mayawati's advice. We hope that the votes of our party will remain with us.”

Mohit Kumar claims that BSP has made Dev Vrat Tyagi its candidate as a strategy.

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