BJP’s Akash Saxena defeated Samajwadi Party’s Asif Raja and hoisted the BJP flag in the seat where the population of Muslims is more. During the last four decades, Azam Khan’s family occupied this seat for most of the time. Now the BJP has broken this chain. Between 1980 and 2022, Azam Khan won the Rampur assembly seat continuously except in the 1996 election. In 1996, he lost the election to Congress candidate Afroz Ali Khan. Azam Khan has been MLA for this seat ten times. In 2019, Azam Khan was elected MP from Rampur parliamentary seat, and in the by-election held in this seat, his wife Dr. To install Tazeen Fatima won. Azam Khan’s close aide, Asim Raja, has faced defeat for the second time in a row in the Lok Sabha by-elections held immediately after the 2022 assembly elections and now in the assembly by-elections.
So, let us analyze how the BJP made a dent in Azam Khan’s fort:
Continuous Decrease In Voting %
If you look at the figures, there is a continuous decrease in the percentage of voting during the last few elections in Rampur. The voter turnout in this seat was 56 per cent in the assembly elections held at the beginning of the year, which came down to 41 per cent in the Lok Sabha bypolls (it includes Rampur assembly seat) and now the voting percentage in this assembly seat has come down to 33.83 percent.
Whenever there is communal polarization, the chances of the BJP winning increase. The SP should have fielded a non-Muslim candidate. The number of Lodhi and Bania voters in Rampur also made a huge difference. In the by-election of Rampur Sadar seat, BJP candidate Akash Saxena got 62.06 percent votes. On the other hand, Mohammad Asim Raja of the Samajwadi Party got 36.05 percent of the votes. The number of Hindu voters in Rampur Sadar seat is around 1.5 lakh, out of which the maximum population of 30 thousand belongs to the Lodhi community. Saini 22 thousand, Jatav 19 thousand, Yadav 12 thousand, Vaish 10 thousand. There are 10,000 Brahmins, 7,000 Sikhs, 5,500 Kayasthas and about 4,000 Thakurs. Pathan voters are 80 thousand, Ansari 58 thousand, Qureshi 17 thousand, Sayyid 17 thousand and Turk 12 thousand.
Wrong Strategy Of SP
Azam Khan ruled Rampur like a ‘king’. But the things that came out after the case of Azam Khan have reduced people’s faith in him. The Samajwadi Party needs to introspect about its working methods and election strategy. Now there is democracy in India. There is no king nor a queen.
Role Of Pasmanda Muslims
It is not that the BJP got the benefit of only the wrong strategy of the Samajwadi Party. This is the first time a non-Muslim candidate has won this seat. Experts say that BJP won this seat and their hard work is behind it. After the announcement of the elections, the BJP organized a big conference in the name of Pasmanda Muslims. Along with the announcement of elections, BJP ministers also campaigned here in large numbers, in which Danish Ansari, Suresh Khanna, and many others participated. All the Muslim leaders, including BJP’s Minister for Minority Welfare Danish Ansari and President of Minority Cell Basit Ali, coming from the Pasmanda fraternity, campaigned for BJP’s victory in Rampur and sought votes. The votes of Pasmanda Muslims have gone in favor of the BJP, whom they have associated with them. BJP got good votes in those booths where the population of Muslims is more. In those booths, the BJP at first didn’t get as many votes.
Mayawati’s Big Move
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did not field its candidate in the Rampur by-election. The BJP has got the direct benefit of Mayawati not contesting the election. Earlier, Mayawati did not field her candidate in Rampur even in the June 2022 Lok Sabha by-election. Due to which, the BJP got a big victory.
Reading Opposition’s Strategy
This time, in the Rampur by-election, Azam Khan’s close friend and media in-charge Fashat Ali Sanu had joined the BJP at the last moment. Along with him, many other close leaders took membership of the BJP, due to which the Samajwadi Party and Asim Raja had to suffer a huge loss of votes in the elections. The BJP, with a lot of planning, broke all the second line people who were with Azam Khan or joined them. Along with them, the secrets of his (Azam’s) campaign were also taken. Where did Azam Khan go? Who did he meet? How did he approach? Who was his partner? So, through him, the BJP used to visit a large number of Muslims, organize programs on a daily basis, invite people to their places and speak their mind.
Support Of Nawab Family
Nawab Qasim Ali Khan decided to support a BJP candidate while in Congress, after which he was expelled from Congress for seven years. The Nawab family has its own political identity in Rampur. He is very active politically and has been contesting almost every election and has won several times. He also has his own vote bank in Rampur, which Akash Saxena must have benefited from.
Azam Khan VS Akash Saxena
Akash Saxena has also fought a legal battle against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. It was he who got those cases registered against Azam Khan, after the decision of which Azam Khan’s membership of the Bidhansabha was terminated. The BJP gave tickets to Akash and kept him with them because he was raising his voice against Azam Khan and he was successful in that. Ever since Akash opposed Azam, only after that has the general public come to know about Akash.
There was 33.94 percent voting in the Rampur by-election. Because of the low turnout, the SP accused the election rigging and the police administration of not allowing people to vote. A delegation of the Samajwadi Party also gave a letter of complaint to the Election Commission in Lucknow. The Samajwadi Party also accused the police administration of threatening the voters. According to experts, since Yogi Adityanath became the chief minister in 2017, Azam Khan has been on the BJP’s target. Many cases were registered against him and he also spent a lot of time in jail. At present, his entire family is out on bail.