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Added on : 2019-04-18 06:54:04

The jury is still out on who goes stronger into the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls where voting will be held on Thursday. Did Jats, Dalits and Muslims really unite to counter the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, were Jitan Ram Manjhi and Chirag Paswan able to save their seats in Bihar, and are there any surprises in seats such as Ghaziabad and Nagpur from where Union ministers VK Singh and Nitin Gadkari are contesting?

What we do know, on the other hand, is that another 97 seats will go to polls. We will move further east in Uttar Pradesh and see polls in Amroha, Bulandshahr, Mathura, Fatehpur Sikri and four other reserved seats of Nagina, Aligarh, Hathras and Agra. There will be some interesting things here — which way do the Jats turn in constituencies where they hold sway — Mathura, Aligarh and Fatehpuri Sikri from where Raj Babbar is fighting a keenly-watched contest.

Another interesting factor to watch out for will be the mood of the Lodhs. Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Agra and Farrukhabad have a huge concentration of Lodhs, who are just two per cent of UP’s population but make for 10%-35% of the electorate in these seats. Aligarh happens to be the home constituency of former UP chief minister and BJP heavyweight Kalyan Singh, the present governor of Rajasthan.

Also, in seats like Amroha, Nagina, Aligarh and Agra where Dalits and Muslims make for nearly half the electorate, the ‘Mahagathbandhan’s’ political experiment will be put to severe test.

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