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Heartbreak, tears before the game of ballots in Uttar Pradesh

U.P. Power Minister and BJP candidate Shrikant Sharma performs ‘Yamuna pujan’ before filing his nomination papers in Mathura.

U.P. Power Minister and BJP candidate Shrikant Sharma performs ‘Yamuna pujan’ before filing his nomination papers in Mathura.

Like all battles, elections are also all about blood, sweat, and tears. The first two might not be required this time because of the stringent COVID protocol imposed by the Election Commission. But, tears are being copiously shed by candidates who have been denied the party ticket.

On Thursday, Mehraj Jahan, an aspirant for the Congress ticket from Muzaffarnagar cried in public after her hopes were dashed. “I have been holding the Congress flag for years but today I feel cheated. As per the 40 % formula, the party should have cleared at least two female candidates for the six seats in the district but it has chosen only one and that too a woman who has joined the party a day before the nomination,” she charged

Javed Raeen, another prospective candidate from Barhapur seat in Bijnor, broke down as he shared the news of him being denied the party ticket. “I was present for the party even at midnight and nursed the constituency but have not been found eligible to serve you,” he said in a social media post. Wiping his tears, he said, he respected the decision of the party president.

However, Thakur Aditya, a claimant for the SP ticket from Chharra constituency was not so gracious. After pouring some inflammable substance on himself, he alleged that the party robbed him off an opportunity he deserved. He tried to self immolate himself in front of the party headquarters in Lucknow but was saved by the police and bystanders.

A party spokesperson, however, denied his charge and said he was planted by the ruling party to malign the party’s image.

The biggest draw in the election tearjerker so far has been Arshad Rana, a Bahujan Samaj Party worker from Muzaffarnagar. Last week, he went to the Kotwali police station to lodge a complaint against the party for taking money from him in lieu of the ticket. “ Mera tamasha bana diya hai (They have turned me into a joke). I have put posters and banners across the constituency and now they have rejected my claim,’ said Mr. Rana, crying copiously. He said he had served the party for 24 years and was promised a ticket from the Charthawal constituency way back in 2018. Perhaps, he has forgotten that BSP was known to change the ticket at the last minute and often prefers turncoats over the party cadre.

Last-minute changes

On Wednesday, the party changed candidates from seven seats. In Charthwal, it picked Salman Sayeed, son of former Union Minister Saeeduzzaman who quit Congress to join hands with the BSP last week.

Heartbreak is a common theme in the ruling party as well. Senior BJP leader S.K. Sharma cried after being denied a ticket from Mathura’s Maant.

“The BJP is no longer the party it once used to be. Dedicated and honest workers are being ignored and robbers are getting everything,” he told the media, wiping off tears. The BSP was quick to field him from Mathura against minister Shrikant Sharma.

In Aligarh, many in the cadre were hopeful that they would get the ticket after the sitting BJP MLA Sanjeev Raja was convicted for assaulting a police constable. However, when the party picked his wife Mukta for the Aligarh seat, it dashed the dreams of many.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 1:58:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/heartbreak-tears-before-the-game-of-ballots-in-uttar-pradesh/article38300029.ece