Taj city’s political ‘josh’ is high

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The Samajwadi Party is buoyed up as reports suggest that the Muslim votes are not expected to split this time…reports Brij Khandelwal

As mercury dipped further to intensify the continuing cold wave, the heat generated by the election euphoria, ahead of the Assembly polls, has brought a welcome relief to the people on the streets here.

The mist shrouding announcement of lists of candidates by different political parties, has now dissipated. The field is all set and the early dissenters have either backtracked or have been offered palliatives. Agra goes to polls on February 10. Though the nomination process started on January 14, so far no papers have been filed.

Local poll observers see an intense three-cornered contest. The Bharatiya Janata Party is pitted against the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, though the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party are also in the fray. For the nine Assembly seats in Agra Divison, the caste and religious formations have already been drawn with little scope for breach of past voting patterns.

The BJP, however, is hoping that a sizeable segment from each vote bank will deviate and support its candidates, because of the good performance of the Yogi Adityanath government, as can be assessed from the spectacular numbers of beneficiaries of welfare schemes.

The Samajwadi Party is buoyed up as reports suggest that the Muslim votes are not expected to split this time. In the past the fragmentation of the minority votes has helped the main party in the contest.

“Initially the BSP supremo was seen a little detached and indifferent to the state Assembly polls, causing fears that the Dalit votes could go to the main opposition party, but Bahenji was not sitting idle, but was doing her electoral homework, as is clearly evident from the candidates being fielded. The BSP will definitely put up a good show this time and prove to be the game spoiler for Akhilesh Yadav,” said experienced poll watcher Nandan Shrotriya.

BJP supporter and a river activist Dr Devashish Bhattacharya said “all the nine seats will go to the BJP with bigger margins. The ‘josh’ is high and the Hindutva Tsunami will sweep all obstacles, once the campaign picks up momentum.”

In neighbouring Mathura and Firozabad districts, the choice of candidates is helping the BJP and the groundswell of support is surprising the poll managers of the party.

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