Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for Rampur bypoll Ghanshyam Lodhi IS confident that the people of Rampur have made up their mind to vote for the Saffron party this time.
With Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress not fielding any candidate for Rampur bypoll, the contest has now become bipolar between Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BJP.
The BJP on June 4 had announced its candidates for the bypoll and fielded Ghanshyam Lodhi from Rampur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Lodhi, a former Samajwadi Party MLC who had joined the BJP ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, is now contesting against Samajwadi Party’s Asim Raza who was handpicked by Azam Khan for this contest.
Speaking to News18 on Wednesday, the BJP pick for Rampur parliamentary bypoll, Ghanshyam Lodhi, said, “The campaigning is going good and I have visited 10 to 12 villages since morning today [Wednesday, June 15] and at the moment, I am in Mohabbat Nagar. We are going door to door, telling people about the good governance and development schemes of the central and state BJP governments. People have made up their mind to vote for BJP irrespective of their caste or faith. It is just a matter of time now, BJP is winning hands down from Rampur.”
On the question of clout that SP MLA Azam Khan enjoys and how the BJP plans to counter it, he said, “Earlier, there were thekedari [contracting], but it has been abolished. This is a democracy now and in a democracy no one is thekedar anymore. People are smart enough today and they understand everything very well. People have already made a decision, only result has to come out now. Doesn’t matter if they are Hindu or Muslim, they all have made up their mind.”
When asked about the issues that he is fighting the byelection on, Lodhi said, “The development schemes of honourable Modi ji and Yogi ji, that focus on overall development of the society without any bias, are a hit among the people. People, irrespective of their faith, are happy with schemes run by central and state governments. People of Rampur will be voting this time on development along with social and religious harmony.”
On the question whether Azam Khan have any impact on the bypoll after being released on bail, he said that he does not want to comment on him, adding that it is their party’s [SP] and their decision who is contesting and who is campaigning. ]”I don’t want to comment on Azam bhai. Barring one leader [Azam Khan] rest all the political leaders of Rampur are standing in my favour,” he said.
Responding to a question on the issue of bulldozer action by the Uttar Pradesh government, Lodhi said, “Well, bulldozers are being run on goons and mafias and criminals are scared of bulldozers now. However, our Rampur is a very small place and people live peacefully here in a good environment.”
Ghanysham Lodhi also revealed that soon UP CM Yogi Adityanath along with some other UP cabinet ministers visit Rampur to campaign for him.
The polling for Rampur byelection will be held on June 23, while the counting of votes will take place on June 27.
The Rampur parliamentary seat fell vacant after Samajwadi Party MP Mohammad Azam Khan vacated the seat and decided to continue as an MLA from Rampur (Sadar) assembly seat.