Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat no cakewalk for Rajnath

Apr 16th, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Uttar Pradesh
Dissension in BJP over denial of ticket to veteran Ramesh Tomar

Mr. Tomar, after 37 years in BJP, has joined Congress

Congress has re-nominated sitting MP S.P. Goel

Rajnath Singh

Ghaziabad: The BJP is portraying the polls for Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency as an already won battle, but victory may not come easy to party president and candidate Rajnath Singh.

The Thakur community forms a substantial part of the electorate in the rural belt of this constituency that also spills over to the National Capital Region, and Rajnath being a Thakur can rely on their support to beat his main Congress rival.

But many partymen loyal to Ramesh Tomar, former BJP MP, feel their leader has been wronged.

Mr. Tomar lost the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from here and Mr. Singh was nominated to fight from this constituency plagued by crime and notorious for its illegal arms manufacturing units. Mr. Tomar, who served BJP for 37 years, has since joined Congress.

“As Mr. Tomar has represented the seat for four terms, it was wrong on the part of the party to have denied him a ticket,” said a BJP worker with the Rajnath camp, underlining the mood of Mr. Tomar’s supporters.

But apprehensions of dissent were dismissed by party spokesperson Siddarth Nath Singh, who said: “The BJP is united in Ghaziabad as it is in the whole of the country. Ghaziabad seat would be won by the BJP with a record and a thumping majority.”

Congress has re-nominated sitting MP Surendra Prakash Goel.

Mr. Goel hopes that he would get a substantial chunk of the 1.75 lakh-strong Vaishya voters since he belongs to this community

BJP’s media manager Narendra Singh Rana, however, feels that irrespective of Mr. Goel’s claim the contest is going to be one-sided given Rajnath’s stature — that of BJP’s national president — and his ability to bring about change.

“Rajnath Singh has the capability to make Ghaziabad a safer, greener and a modern industrial hub. An airport, university, Metro connectivity, better civic amenities is the need of hour for this town and the BJP will cater to all such requirements,” says Mr. Rana.

The Congress strategists, who are banking on the support of over one lakh Gujjar voters, share a similar development plan for the town.

The Congress candidate and sitting MP S.P. Goel said, “Improving infrastructure is the main issue. Road, water supply, sewerage are main problems. Crime-rate is the biggest worry and gaining grip over the law and order will be a prime area for action once we win.”

The BSP candidate Amar Pal Sharma pins his hopes on the support of Muslims and the overall development oriented attitude of the Mayawati government in U.P.

The Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat — with 17,69,918 voters, has five Assembly segments Loni, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Muradnagar, Dhaulana — that need immediate attention on crime incidents and basic civic amenities.

“Buildings and residential township have come up all over but not all of them have proper drainage facilities, approach roads that will last very long. These are areas that the government should look into,” said Gopal Pal, a real estate agent.

Ghaziabad will go into polls on May 7 in fourth phase of the general elections. – PTI

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