Mulayam's home turf Etawah facing triangular contest
This home bastion of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is facing a triangular fight between the SP, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
After being identified as a reserved parliamentary constituency in 2009, Etawah is all set to elect a Dalit member of Parliament for the second time. Etawah is considered the stronghold of SP as it happens to be the home turf of SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav and his Chief Minister son Akhilesh Yadav. Also, it is known as the workplace of SP's famed leader Dr Ram Manohar Lohia. SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav has not contested from his home turf even once, but his name is the biggest selling point here. Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are giving a tough fight to the SP at this seat in this hustings. SP has fielded sitting MP Premdas Katheriya from this constituency, while the BSP has fielded businessman Ajay Pal Jatav as its candidate.
Ashok Dohre, a former cabinet minister during the BSP regime, is in the fray as the BJP candidate, while Ujiyare Lal Dohre is the Aam Aadmi Party's candidate from this seat. Congress has put up Hansmukhi Bhakhvar as its candidate. Notably, Etawah parliamentary constituency was identified as reserved in 2009 polls after delimitation.
This will be the second time when any Dalit will be selected as the MP after the seat acquired 'reserved' status.
Earlier in 1991, BSP founder Kanshiram had won from this parliamentary constituency. The delimitation process can affect poll equations.
Parts of Aurraiya and Kanpur dehat were merged into the Etawah parliamentary constituency after delimitation.
The backward castes will have a major say in electing the MP from this seat. Of the total 17 lakh voters, eight lakh voters are of the backward community. More than four lakh voters are of general category, while the Dalit populous stands around three lakh.
SP currently occupies all the assembly seats in this Parliamentary constituency.
Congress leader Motilal won from this seat for the first time in 1957. After this, socialist commander Arjun Singh Bhadauriya romped home in 1962. Shankar Tiwari of Congress represented Ewatah seat in 1971, while Arjun Singh was elected as the MP for the sceond time in 1977. Ram Singh Shakya of Janata Party and Chaudhary Raghuraj Singh of Congress bagged victory respectively in 1980 and 1984.
In 1989, Ram Singh Shakya of Janata Dal repeated his victory, while BSP's Kanshiram was elected as the MP from this seat in 1991.
Shakya again won on the SP ticket in 1996 polls, while Sukhda Mishra of the BJP was victorious in 1998 elections. In the 1999 and 2004 elections Raghuraj Singh Shakya of the SP was the popular choice.
In 2009, Prem Das Kathariya of SP won the seat but even he has to face the heat this time despite sitting in the party's citadel.
(Posted on 22-04-2014)