The Congress on Saturday announced to extend support to Samajwadi Party candidate Sudhakar Singh for the bypoll to Ghosi Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh's Mau district.
Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai made the announcement in this regard on X, formerly Twitter.
“I would request all of my friends, my fellow workers in the Congress that they should extend their support and help to Samajwadi Party candidate from Ghosi, Sudhakar Singh in the bypolls. All of you work with full strength, and make him victorious," he said in a video shared on X.
Uttar Pradesh BJP vice-president Vijay Bahadur Pathak while reacting to this decision said this support between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party is "not new" and has been made keeping the 2024 general elections "in mind".
“The people of Ghosi and the state have full faith in the double-engine government of the BJP. This support is not new. In Rae Bareli and Amethi, the Congress won earlier elections with the support of the Samajwadi Party. Definitely, this is a decision, which has been made keeping in mind the 2024 Lok Sabha elections," he said.
The bypoll to the Ghosi Assembly constituency is the first election in the state to take place after the formation of the opposition bloc INDIA and eastern UP-centric political party Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party joining the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The seat fell vacant after Dara Singh Chauhan, who won on a Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket in the 2022 assembly elections, resigned from his membership after joining the BJP last month.
Chauhan submitted his resignation to Uttar Pradesh Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana on July 15.
He was the forest and environment minister in the previous BJP government headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath before he resigned from the Council of Ministers in January 2022 and joined the SP.
He had also represented the Ghosi seat in the 15th Lok Sabha as a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member.
Chauhan was the BJP MLA from Madhuban Assembly constituency in Mau district from 2017 to 2022. He won the Ghosi seat in the 2022 UP Assembly election on the SP ticket.
The BJP has made Chauhan its candidate in the by-election.
The Congress and the BSP are staying out of the contest and have not nominated any candidate.
Though the poll outcome will have no major impact on the BJP's tally in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the party will make all efforts to snatch the seat from the SP to assert its popularity among the non-Yadav OBC voters ahead of the general elections next year.
The SP on the other hand will try to upset the apple cart of the BJP before the Lok Sabha elections and attempt to send a strong signal to its core voters in the state.
The bypoll, which will be held on September 5, is being seen as a straight contest between the ruling BJP and the main opposition party -- the SP.
The counting of votes will be held on September 8.
Sudhakar Singh was the SP MLA from Ghosi between 2012 and 2017. In the 2017 UP assembly elections, he had lost to BJP's Fagu Chauhan from Ghosi In the 403-member UP Legislative Assembly, the BJP has 255 MLAs, while its allies Apna Dal (Sonelal) and NISHAD party have 13 MLAs and 6 MLAs respectively. New NDA partner SBSP has 6 MLAs in the Assembly.
The SP has 108 MLAs, its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has 9 MLAs while the Congress and Jansatta Dal Loktantrik have 2 MLAs each and the BSP has 1 MLA.
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