If a Gama wrestler is standing in front, then the strategy will also have to be made ‘Gamadar’ only then can it be thought of to beat him. The best way is to copy that wrestler’s style and earn plus points from his mistakes. Following the same philosophy, perhaps the air of Phulpur has been blown by Nitish Kumar’s camp. Maybe a study of the reactions on this should be done and accordingly the next move will be decided. At the moment it is necessary to understand why Nitish Kumar is trying to contest from Phulpur itself and understand in this ground report why adopting ‘Modi style’ of the Chief Minister of Bihar will not work in Phulpur?
Difference between Modi and Nitish
In fact, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to Kashi in 2014, there was an intention to make the entire Purvanchal saffron. The effect was seen till Bihar. There is talk of Nitish contesting elections from Phulpur adjacent to Bhadohi seat next to Kashi, so there is talk of Modi style in the background. But there is a difference between Nitish and Modi. With Modi being the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had created a different image in the hearts and minds of Hindus. Nitish’s image of good governance babu is limited to Bihar or to the statements of opposition leaders. The people of other states do not have any special affection for him. It is about caste equation. He comes from the Kurmi community and seeing the vote bank of Patels in Phulpur seat, his advisors may have found everything easy but they have to get acquainted with the ground situation.
Nitish Kumar will not be able to give any fight in Phulpur, for the purpose for which he is coming, the people here understand everything.
Amarnath Yadav, regional vice president of BJP, living in Phulpur, Kashi region
Even if Akhilesh gives the seat…
After Pandit Nehru, the Phulpur area used to be a Congress stronghold for about 35 years. Later SP ran a lot of cycles here. BSP candidates also kept on winning every now and then. In 2014, Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and in 2019 Kesari Devi Patel fed lotus and SP came second. Not only this, in the 2018 by-election, SP ran a cycle here. Now just UP + Bihar = Modi government, understand the factor. Some have gone on foot, some have united Delhi-Patna to unite the opposition. Even Akhilesh Yadav knows that it is difficult to single-handedly compete with the charismatic face of Modi. That is why he wants that whoever becomes the PM, now it is necessary to remove the BJP from power, only then the existence of regional parties will be saved. If Nitish Yadav contests elections in UP in alliance with the SP or Akhilesh plays a bet by giving a Phulpur seat to Nitish, then through this an attempt will be made to benefit the opposition. About 100 km from Modi’s seat, this has been the country’s most popular seat. From Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country, VP Singh, Atiq Ahmed, Keshav Prasad Maurya won. In such a situation, Congress and BSP can also easily give support for Nitish Kumar.
Now understand the ground reality
Describing the voting pattern in Phulpur, senior BJP leader Shyamdhar Mishra says that here BJP is strong in today’s time because because of Anupriya Patel, Kesari Devi Patel, MLA Praveen Patel, Patel community will vote for BJP here. Nitish Kumar is a Kurmi, how much will this factor work? When asked, Shyamdhar said that he would be able to cut at most 10% of the votes. He told that in Phulpur, Patel is the largest, followed by Yadav, then Muslim and Brahmin voters.
If Nitish Kumar contests the elections in alliance with SP, will the traditional voters of SP i.e. Muslims and Yadavs vote for Nitish Kumar? In response to this question, a local journalist said that the answer has already been received by the parties. In 2019 Lok Sabha, SP and BSP contested the elections together. Even then the BJP won and the alliance lost. One big thing in this is that in Phulpur, Prayagraj and the surrounding area, whose fraternity has a candidate, they vote, but the other fraternity with which the alliance is made, their vote is not available.
A senior Congress leader said on the condition of anonymity that the condition of Phulpur is known to all, caste factor dominates here. If Nitish Kumar becomes a Kurmi and contests from Phulpur as a joint candidate with SP, Yadav will not vote for him.
external factor will also be there
Shyamdhar says that the factor of local and external is strong at this time. Earlier, the public used to vote, but the question remains in the minds of the people that if they win, will we go to Patna to find them? The craze that Modi and Yogi have at this time is not with Nitish. Modi-Yogi will fight from anywhere in the country, they will give a good fight but Nitish Kumar’s image is not of that level yet. Describing the Phulpur plan of 2024, a senior BJP leader said that here the party can field Deepak Patel, son of sitting MP Kesari Devi Patel. The current MPs are constantly seen in the area, the Patel fraternity is not going anywhere else. In such a situation, Deepak Patel will be heavy. Kesari Devi’s age has become more, in such a situation the ticket is to be cut, so there is full preparation to give ticket to the son. Yes, the important point is that if the BJP makes the mistake of fielding the non-Patel fraternity from Phulpur, the road could be easier for Nitish Kumar. Now the discussion of Nitish has started, then the people of the area say that feel sure that BJP will field Patel only.
BJP leader only told two ways for Nitish’s victory!
Vimlesh Patel, a member of BJP Yuva Morcha, State Working Committee, who lives in the area, says that Nitish Kumar can win the MP from here considering the caste equation, but he will not be able to become the Prime Minister. When asked the reason for his victory, he said that it would depend on the candidate of the BJP and two circumstances. Vimlesh said that Nitish can win if BJP does not field a local Patel. Nitish will win even if BJP does not give ticket to Kurmi.
Patel will decide victory or defeat
At the same time, SP leader Angad Yadav said that Patel fraternity has a good vote. The victory of Nitish will depend on the stand of the Patels, a lot will also depend on the alliance. He avoided speaking on SP’s stand and said that the party may leave one seat for him. A senior SP worker said that after Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the seat, the BJP had fielded Mirzapur resident Kaushalendra Patel in the Phulpur by-election. SP had given ticket to Nagendra Patel. But here the external factor went so much that everyone voted for the SP candidate and he won. There are about 20 lakh voters here and Patel-Yadav fraternity decides victory and defeat.
Reiterating the same point, BJP leader Shyamdhar gives the example of Pratappur assembly adjoining Phulpur. He said that understand the mood of the public in the same way that if the local Brahmin candidate had been a candidate in Pratappur in the last elections, the BJP could have removed the seat, but Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, the candidate from Handia, got defeated. Some people didn’t vote just because, ‘Hey.. where did you get it? Now let’s meet the MLA, blow 50 rupees and go to Handiya.
In the Lok Sabha elections and by-elections held so far in Phulpur, Patel-Kurmi candidates have won 8 times. Nitish Kumar is known as the leader of Kurmi fraternity in Bihar. Seeing the condition of Kejriwal, Nitish may be thinking of coming directly to Phulpur seat in terms of siege. But Phulpur’s caste voting pattern says it will be a ‘fire test’ for them. In such a situation, before coming to Phulpur, they will also have to choose a confirmed seat for themselves.
Know about Phulpur seat
- , The first PM Jawaharlal Nehru reached the Lok Sabha from this seat in 1952 and won from here for three consecutive times. In 1962, socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia fought but lost.
- After Nehru, his sister Vijay Laxmi Pandit contested from here, today there is an inter college in her name in Phulpur.
- Former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh won from Congress in 1971.
- MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s mother Kamala Bahuguna has also won from here.
- In 1984, Rampujan Patel of Congress raised the flag in Phulpur.
- SP candidate won between 1996 and 2004. In 2004, Atiq Ahmed, who was then called Bahubali, reached the MP from here. At that time, his pride was such that a convoy of 15-20 vehicles used to travel with Tata Sumo and the glass was kept open as much as could be seen by the outsiders. In such a situation, the traffic stopped on the roads and intersections and used to see Atiq’s convoy.
- By the way, you may say VIP seat but apart from IFFCO Urea Factory, nothing is visible in the name of development in Phulpur.