Bharatiya Janata Party has comfortably won by-poll elections on six out of seven seats in Uttar Pradesh. The by-poll elections were held at Naugawan Sadat, Bulandshahr, Tundla, Bangermau, Ghatampur, Deoria and Malhani on 3rd November. Three seats that BJP won in western UP (Tundla, Amroha, and Bulandshahr) were under the shadow of the infamous Hathras Case. The opposition parties, including Congress, Left, and Bhim Army, used the 14th September incident to create voters’ mindset against BJP.
A comfortable win at all three seats in western UP
Prempal Singh Dhangar of BJP won the Tundla (SC) seat with a margin of 17,683 votes. Prempal got 72,844 votes compared to SP’s Maharaj Singh Dhangar, who got 55,209 votes. The remaining 40,967 votes went to BSP. Almost one-third of the total registered voters (3.6 lakh) in the constituency were Dalits. Prempal, who was contesting the election for the first time, said that BJP workers worked day and night to retain the seat. “I will try my best to fulfill the expectations of the people of my constituency. Making suitable arrangements for the supply of drinking water to each household will be my top priority,” he added.
BJP’s Sangeeta Chauhan, wife of former UP Cabinet minister late Chetan Chauhan, won Amroha’s Naugawan Sadat seat won by over 15,000 votes. She secured 86,692 votes while SP candidate Abdi got 71,615 votes, and BSP got 38,192 votes. On this seat, Congress candidate Dr. Kamlesh Singh secured merely 4,500 votes. She said, “My husband now is not in this world but he is with me. People of this constituency paid a true tribute to him. That is why our party won the seat again. I will not let the people down, and will fulfill the remaining promises of my husband.”
BJP’s Usha Sirohi won Bulandshahr Sadar seat comfortably with a margin of over 21,000 votes. She got 88,645 votes while BSP’s Mohammad Yunus secured polled 66,943 votes. Azad Samaj Party (Bhim Army’s political party) got 13,000 votes, and Congress’ Sushil Chaudhary secured 10,319 votes. RLD’s Praveen Kumar Singh (backed by SP) got only 7,312 votes. There were over 52,000 Dalit Jatav and over 1.2 lakh Muslim voters in the constituency. Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar got a good response in his political rallies, but the turnout at the rally failed to affect the election’s outcome.
The Hathras case and how opposition tried to create mindset against BJP
On 15th September, the media started to report the Hathras case. According to the reports, on 14th September, a 19-year-old from the Bulgadhi village in Hathras was gang-raped by four men belonging to the ‘upper caste’. The girl passed away on 29th September at the hospital. In the report, there, the police mentioned that there was no rape. IPC Section 302 (murder) was added in the case.
The case became a political battleground for the political parties to score brownie points. The justice for the victim took a backseat, and the leaders from every opposition party started to find ways to take advantage of the situation. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter with numerous facets emerging to the story. From Gandhi family to BSP, Bhim Army, Left, SP, and other party leaders started to visit Hathras.
Media played a vital role in making the case about caste. From the very first day, it was projected that the incident took place because to girl was from the Dalit community. However, later details emerged that two families had old family disputes and some reports suggested that the girl and one of the men who were accused were in an affair.
Four Bhim Army workers were allegedly feeding fake stories to the media, and a doctor posing as victim’s bhabhi was allegedly part of the propaganda against the UP government. Four PFI workers were arrested, who were planning to cause communal tension in the area. During the by-poll election campaigns, the opposition parties tried their best to use the case against the Yogi-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. A timeline of the case can be explored here.
Hathras case failed to dent BJP in the region
There was a time when fake narratives set by political parties and media worked perfectly. Things are a little different now. It seems that voters do not concentrate on one incident that has happened in a region but look at the collective work the government has done. BJP focuses on working at the booth level with the help of party workers. Bihar elections and by-poll elections in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and other states showed how ground-level work done for the region’s benefit matters more than propaganda politics.