BSP eyes win with SP support in this BJP bastion
Also, the two leading contestants here are no strangers to the voters in this reserved seat, where the BSP is desperate to shed its no-win record.
This east Uttar Pradesh constituency, where PM Narendra Modi held a rally on May 12, also breaks the popular belief that reserved constituencies in UP are bastions of Mayawati’s BSP. The BSP has never won this seat and the last time a Samajwadi Party candidate won from here was in 1996.
However, BSP’s candidate, Sadal Prasad—who had lost in 2004 and in 2009—told ET that he is confident this time, given that he also has the Samajwadi Party’s support.
The BJP’s two-time parliamentarian Kamlesh Paswan was quick to rebut with the 2014 result, saying he had nearly 60,000 more votes than the BSP-SP candidates combined.
It can be said that the Paswan family rules the roost in this area, as Kamlesh Paswan’s mother, Subhavati Paswan, had won from here in 1996 on an SP ticket after his father and MLA Om Prakash Paswan was gunned down in a public meeting.
Meanwhile, amid complaints by locals that he’s been absent from the area, Kamlesh Paswan has been stressing on development brought in by Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath to Bansgaon, including electrification and improvement in the condition of good roads. “This election is not about choosing an MP, but choosing the correct leadership for the country in Narendra Modi,” Paswan has been saying in his speeches.
Aiding the BJP’s chance in this reserved seat is the rejection of the candidature of the Congress candidate Kush Saurabh Rao. Mahavir Prasad of the Congress had won the seat in 2004. What could also help the BJP is the fact that the candidate of Shivpal Yadav’s party, Surendra Prasad, and an independent, Lalchand Prasad, remain in the fray. Shivpal’s candidate is expected to dent the votes of the alliance candidate in Bansgaon, observers said. In fact of the 18 candidates who filed nominations, as many as 14 nominations were rejected, perhaps the highest such percentage for any seat in UP.