The Kairana parliamentary constituency has five assembly segments — Shamli, Thana Bhawan and Kairana in Shamli district, and Gangoh and Nakur in Saharanpur district.
Today’s vote for the vacant Lok Sabha seat in the state will test the potential of a united opposition in the state that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept in 2014 and 2017. The poll holds much importance for the ruling BJP after the recent drubbing in the Gorakhpur and Phoolpur bye-election where arch rivals Samajwadi Party tied up with the Bahujan Samaj Party to defeat the saffron party.
The Kairana by-poll was necessitated following the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh in February. To cash in on the sympathy wave towards Singh’s family, the BJP has fielded his daughter Mriganka in Kairana, while RLD has nominated Tabassum Hasan, who has the support of the BSP, SP, and Congress. With independent MLA Kanwar Hasan joining the RLD this week, it will virtually be a two-way contest.
The Kairana Lok Sabha seat has some 16 lakh voters, which include an estimated 5.5 lakh Muslims and 1.5 lakh Jats. That, plus 2.5 lakh Dalits (mostly Jatavs, who traditionally vote for the BSP, makes for a formidable combination on paper favouring the RLD candidate.