Was BJP’s poor Lok Sabha polls show in UP an sabotage? Ex-Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan levels THIS big charge

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Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader and two-term Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjeev Balyan has accused the party’s former Sardhana Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Sangeet Som of ‘sabotaging’ his re-election bid by ‘supporting’ the rival Samajwadi Party (SP). Balyan, former Union Minister, lost the general elections 2024 from Muzaffarnagar to SP leader Harendra Singh Malik by about 25,000 votes. Sardhana assembly seat, earlier represented by Som, falls under Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha seat.

“He (Sangeet Som) supported the SP candidate in the election.  The atmosphere in West UP was spoiled through panchayats by the Rajput community and he facilitated these panchayats. That divided the votes. That affected the results in Kairana and Saharanpur also,”  Balyan was quoted as saying Indian Express.

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Balyan had faced boycott calls from certain sections of the Rajput community who were not happy over the alleged Jat dominance in the BJP and the subsequent ‘sidelining’ of Rajputs in the ticket distribution.

Congress party leader Imran Masood won the Saharanpur seat while the SP candidate Iqra Choudhary bagged the Kairana seat. The BJP won 10 while its ally, the RLD bagged two seats of the 19 Lok Sabha seats in West UP in the recently-concluded election. 

In 2019, the BJP had won 12 of these seats. The RLD had contested the 2019 elections as an ally of the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

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The Lok Sabha elections 2024 saw a close fight between the BJP and the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh, with the opposition ultimately winning 43 of the 80 seats. The BJP-led NDA won 36 seats. The BJP alone had won 62 of the 80 seats from Uttar Pradesh in 2019 general elections.

Balyan, a Jat, listed three factors – the consolidation of Muslim votes behind the Opposition, the division among Hindus and the low voter turnout – as key factors responsible for his defeat, according to the Indian Express report. 

The seven-phase Lok Sabha Elections 2024 were held from April 19 to June 1. The results were announced on June 4. The BJP-led NDA won 294 seats while the INDIA bloc has won 237 seats with the help of three independents.

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Som, a Rajput, dismissed Balyan’s allegations saying that he had, in fact, lost the support among BJP workers since he did not work for party in the last 10 years. 

On the allegation of facilitating panchayats, Som said he, instead, did the ‘damage-control’ exercise and convinced people and ‘got votes from the Rajput community polled for the party.’ 

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Published: 14 Jun 2024, 09:04 AM IST


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