Will saffron narrative make inroads in Ghaziabad?
Uttar Pradesh

Will saffron narrative make inroads in Ghaziabad?

Agency News

Ghaziabad, Apr 8: As India gears up for another General Election, political trends show a curious throwback to the dominant discourse in Ghaziabad of Uttar Pradesh.

Ghaziabad, also known as ‘Gateway of UP’ will go to polls on April 11 in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections. It is located in the western part of the state at an average elevation of 250 meters and covers a total area of 210 sq km. It is the primary industrial, commercial and educational center of western Uttar Pradesh and is emerging as a major real estate hub due to its proximity to the national capital, New Delhi.

Before 14th November 1976 Ghaziabad was the Tehsil of District Meerut. The then, chief minister ND Tiwari declared Ghaziabad as a district on the birth anniversary of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.

Ghaziabad Parliamentary Constituency: The Parliamentary Constituency of Ghaziabad, was formed post the 2008 Presidential notification of the implementation of delimitation of parliamentary constituencies.

Earlier, this parliamentary area was part of the Hapur Lok Sabha constituency. In the Hapur Lok Sabha, Ghaziabad, Muradnagar, Modinagar, Hapur and Garh Mukteshwar were included in the Legislative Assembly.

While delimited the constituency in 2008, some parts of Hapur were transferred to Meerut Lok Sabha constituency and some parts to the Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency.

The new parliamentary seat, Ghaziabad, has five assembly seats -- Ghaziabad, Sahibabad, Muradnagar, Dhaulana and Loni.

Candidates in the fray: According to the Ghaziabad electoral officials, 12 candidates are in the fray for this election. They includes Amit Sharma (independent), Ashok Sharma (Subhashwavi Bharatiya Samajwadi Party), Mohan Lal (Republican Party of India),Nagendra Kumar (Shiv Sena), Rakesh Suri (Right to Recall Party), Saleem Ahmad (Sabse Acchi Party), Sewa Ram Kasana (Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party – Lohia), Sunil Nayar (Rashtriya Lok Sarvadhikar Party), Suresh Bansal (Samajwadi Party) and Gen (retd) VK Singh (Bharatiya Janata Party). The only two women candidates are Dolly Sharma of the Congress and Divya Yogmaya Saraswati of the Rashtriya Bharatiya Jan Jan Party. But the issue of Bofors took place when the Janata Dal's KC Tyagi defeated Congress candidate and reached the Lok Sabha.

Then, Dr Ramesh Chand Tomar continued to win four times in 1991,96,98,99 as a BJP candidate. In 2004, Congress candidate Surendra Goyal defeated him.

After delimitation BJPs’ dominance remains intact: In 2009, then BJP president and now union home minister Rajnath Singh won this seat. He defeated Congress candidate Surendra Prakash Goyal. Rajnath Singh got 359637 votes, while Surendra Prakash Goyal managed only 2,68,956 votes.

In 2014, BJP retained the seat after its candidate General VK Singh defeated his nearest rival by a whopping more than five lakh votes (5.67 lakh). Singh securing 56.50 per cent of the total votes polled. He was followed by Congress' Raj Babbar who secured 14.24 per cent of votes. Singh got 7,58,482 votes, while Babbar had to be satisfied with only 1,91,188 votes. SP's Sudhan Rawat and BSP's Mukul Upadhyay were also in the field.

Electorates: The district election commission has finalised the electoral roll and according to the current figures, there are 27,26,132 registered voters in the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency out of which male voters stand at 15,17,276 and female voters at 12,08,747. There are 109 voters who have been placed under the third gender category.

According to figures, 28,015 new voters have been added to the list so far, which roughly translates to a 3.21 per cent rise in electors as compared to last year.

Assembly Constituencies: Of the total 27.26 lakh registered voters in the Lok Sabha seat, the metropolitan assembly constituencies of Sahibabad and Ghaziabad together account for 51 per cent of votes. Sahibabad, in particular, is one of the biggest assembly constituencies in terms of number of voters. It has over 9.48 lakh voters, mostly residents of highrise societies in Indirapuram, Vaishali, Vasundhara and Kausambhi. And much like Sahibabad, Ghaziabad assembly constituency is urban and represents the old city, which is inhabited mostly by the trader community. It has 4.48 lakh voters.

The rural part of the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat -- comprising Loni, Dhaulana (partial) and Muradnagar assembly constituencies -- accounts for only 32 per cent of the voters.

Loni has 4.91 lakh electors and Muradnagar has 4.43 lakh electors.

The fifth assembly constituency, the Dhaulana part of which is under Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency and rest in Hapur has a total 3.94 voters. Parts of Dhaulana and Pilkhuwa in Hapur district also fall under the Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency and comprise villages falling under the ‘Satha Chaurasi’ belt. The Satha Chaurasi belt has a majority of villages in Hapur district. Farmers’ Issue: The rural belt is part of western UP’s sugarcane belt and issues related to minimum support price and agrarian distress is a major issue. The issue of attacks by stray cattle is also leading to huge losses.

Thousands of farmers in the area will play a key role in first phase of LS polls on April 11. (UNI)