The Apna Dal (Sonelal), an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday won both the Assembly seats — Suar and Chhanbey — in the State, to which byelections were held on May 10.
In the high-profile constituency of Suar in Rampur, the Apna Dal (S) candidate, Shafeek Ahmed Ansari, won by a margin of 8,724 votes against his nearest rival, Anuradha Chauhan of the Samajwadi Party (SP).
While Mr. Ansari polled 68,630 votes, Ms. Chauhan polled 59,906 votes. The byelection was necessitated by the conviction of then MLA Abdullah Azam Khan, son of SP leader Azam Khan.
In Chhanbey, where the byelection took place following the demise of Apna Dal (S) MLA Rahul Prakash Kol, Rinki Kol, wife of the late leader, registered victory for the party by a margin of around 10,000 votes against SP candidate Kirti Kol. The Apna Dal(S) candidate polled 76,203 votes against the SP nominee who got 66,616 votes.
Jolt to SP
The defeat in Suar is seen as a major jolt to Azam Khan, who campaigned extensively for the party nominee Anuradha Chauhan, a Hindu candidate, in a constituency having a sizeable Muslim electorate. The Apna Dal(S) fielding Mr. Ansari, a Pasmanda Muslim, was considered one among the many latest attempts by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in reaching out to this backward sub-group, which forms a majority within the Muslim population in the State. In the 2022 Assembly election, the Apna Dal(S) fielded Haider Ali Khan from the seat.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath congratulated the NDA cadres for the victory and described it as a symbol of unwavering public trust in the good governance established by the double-engine government on the basic mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas”.
“Heartiest congratulations to all the hardworking workers and respected voters for the grand victory of the BJP alliance in the byelections held in Suar and Chhanbey Assembly seats. This victory achieved under the successful guidance of respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji is a symbol of unwavering public trust in the good governance established by the double engine government working on the basic mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas,” he tweeted.