After the 3rd phase of polling now in over 300 seats people have already cast their ballots, still half the battle is yet to be fought. With tremendous rallies and other social media stunts like non-political interview with renowned celebrity like Akshay Kumar by Prime Minister Modi to social connection drives in rural Uttar Pradesh by Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, there are many high stake prestigious battles still to be fought. Some very tightly fought seats to be watched are in the Hindi heartland, a predominantly BJP stronghold region, where every vote falls ‘for’ or ‘against’ Modi. Here is the analysis of two most prestigious seats in the region to watch –
Congress’ Digvijay Singh Vs. BJP’s Pragya Singh Thakur, Bhopal
BJP’s controversial decision to field terror-accused in Malegaon blast case and spiritual guru turned politician Pragya Thakur aka Sadhvi Pragya in RSS-bastion in Bhopal.
Catching headlines ever since her nomination from BJP is nothing new for Ms. Thakur with most recently spilling controversy for an ‘Aatanki Vs. Sanyasi” jibe at her opponent and senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, whom BJP has kept accusing of coining the term “Hindu Terror” and blaming the charges on RSS and its ideological partner organizations.
The appalling claim by BJP candidate that cow urine has cured her cancer was not taken well by critics as well as experts. A further investigation proved that Dr. SS Rajput in Lucknow who operated on Ms. Thakur three times that surgeries and not ‘gaumutra’ or cow urine had cured her cancer.
A controversial remark made by same candidate to 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare in which she said her ‘curse’ led to his death causing an uproar followed by a blunt apology due to pressure from opposition as well as her own party BJP.
A no show from BJP-cadre for Sadhvi Pragya’s nomination with around just 30% cadres present at a campaign strategy meeting for the candidate shows how buffed is Bhopal BJP cadre for favoring of Pragya Thakur over sitting MP Alok Sanjar. Bhopal will vote in 6th phase on May 12.
JNU’s Kanhaiya Vs. BJP, Begusrai seat
Begusrai, a dusty town located in central Bihar, has suddenly seen an upswing in footfall of several left-aligning leaders and actors to students and artists from around the India namely actors Shabana Azmi and Prakash Raj, lyricist Javed Akhtar and prominent Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja have campaigned for the Left-wing posterboy Kanhaiya Kumar who is contesting on CPI ticket. Actress Swara Bhaskar, a right wing troll slayer as she calls herself has also campaigned for kanhaiya.
Several students of prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University have come in Begusrai to campaign for former JNU students union president, Kanhaiya Kumar. Former JNUSU vice-president and student activist Sheila Rashid also reached out to campaign for the CPI candidate.
A cavalcades of high-end SUV’s followed by media vans and OB’s were present in Kanhaiya’s convoy followed by hundreds of motorcade of youngsters many from JNU riding lane to lane to garner vote for their leader making its way through dusty roads of Begusrai.
The battle here, analysts say, is majorly between senior BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh and RJD leader Tanveer Hassan. With both, Kanhaiya Kumar and Giriraj Singh belonging to Bhumihar caste the vote is unlikely to split-up from Mr. Singh’s pocket spilling up inconvenience for Mr. Kumar. One more headache for CPI in its stronghold is to attract more Muslim voters loyal to RJD leader Tanveer Hassan. Still it’d be a three-way battle in this crucial seat as Kanhaiya has potential to attract young voters on his side. Begusrai will vote on April 29.