Hinduist Som in Trouble

February 04 2017

Hardline rightists may be having a field day in the US as of now, but their Indian counterparts are not in a bright patch at the moment, at least in the hotly contested Uttar Pradesh elections. For instance, the poster boy of ultra-right Hinduist fire-eater Sangeet Som of the BJP is contesting from Sarghana constituency of Meerut district, but is facing a stiff resistance from another fire-eater: Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded abattoir owner Haji Yaqub’s son Imran Qureshi, who is known for his strong stands. To set a balance between the two, Samajwadi Party has given its ticket to a strong Gurjar candidate, Atul Pradhan, whose wife Seema is the district Panchayat President. Som had swept the poll in 2012, because he belongs to the Rajput community, who dominate 24 villages around here and they had cast their 50,000 votes en bloc for Som. Besides, the Jats had also voted for Som. But this time around the Jat voters are upset with BJP, as Som had almost totally neglected his constituency and has rarely, if ever, visited his own village during the last five years. It is clear now that the constituents are not going to be moved by ultra-right speeches. They want delivery and in that context, Atul Pradhan has an edge there.

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