Lucknow: In a surprising turn of events, the Samajwadi Party (SP) is reportedly considering yet another change in its candidate lineup for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Meerut. Sources within the party suggest that Atul Pradhan might be replaced by Sunita Verma, the wife of former MLA Yogesh Verma, signalling a potential shake-up in the region’s political landscape. The party earlier made ST Hasan its candidate from Muradabad after Ruchi Veera filed the nomination for the seat. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav wrote a letter in support of Hasan after the party nominated Ruchi Veera earlier. The letter was sent to the Election Commission to cancel Ruchi Veera’s symbol.

Sunita Verma and her husband Yogesh made headlines when they switched allegiance from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to the Samajwadi Party (SP) in 2021. The Verma duo, once prominent figures within the BSP, ventured into a new political realm, aligning themselves with Akhilesh Yadav’s SP.

Yogesh Verma, a former two-term MLA, had experienced both victories and defeats in his political career. While he tasted success in the 2007 and 2012 elections under the BSP banner, his fortunes took a downturn in 2022 when he failed to secure a win as an SP candidate. However, the Verma family’s influence remained palpable, with Sunita Verma assuming the role of mayor in 2017.

Internal Discontent Within SP And Last-Minute Changes

The decision to reconsider the candidate for the Meerut constituency comes amidst murmurs of dissatisfaction among local SP workers over the initial selection of Bhanu Pratap Singh. In a swift move, the party replaced Singh with sitting MLA Atul Pradhan, attempting to address internal disquiet. However, the possibility of yet another change reflects the complexities of local politics and the imperative for strategic manoeuvring.

BJP’s Strategy And Regional Dynamics

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not without its own tactics. Banking on the popularity of Arun Govil, renowned for his portrayal of Lord Rama in the epic “Ramayana,” the party aims to consolidate its position in Meerut. Govil’s local roots add to the BJP’s narrative, as they strive to reclaim lost ground in Western Uttar Pradesh.

Electoral Dynamics In UP

With political dynamics shifting in the state, the BJP is spearheading a robust alliance, encompassing parties like the RLD, SBSP, Apna Dal (S), and Nishad Party, bolstering its position. On the other hand, while Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav aligns with the opposition bloc, Mayawati embarks on the electoral journey solo.

With Uttar Pradesh being a key battleground, both the SP and BJP are vying for supremacy. The BJP’s ambition to secure more than 370 seats independently underscores the high stakes involved. Despite setbacks in previous elections, the party remains optimistic about its prospects, particularly in Western UP, a region of strategic significance.

Uttar Pradesh will vote in all seven phases. Voting for phases one and two will be held on April 19 and April 26. Next, the state will once again poll in phases three and four on May 7 and May 13. The Uttar Pradesh electorate will also vote in phases five, six, and seven on May 20, May 23, and June 1, respectively. Polling in Meerut will take place on April 26, during the second phase. The votes will be counted on June 4. 

As the electoral juggernaut rolls on, Uttar Pradesh gears up for a seven-phase voting process, commencing on April 19. The state’s substantial contribution of 80 MPs to Parliament underscores its pivotal role in national politics. The ensuing battle will not only shape the state’s future but also have far-reaching implications for the country’s political landscape.



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