‘Lotus has been found to bloom in Azam’s stronghold’: BJP’s Rampur winner
Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi says, “Lotus has been fed in Azam Khan’s stronghold. BJP candidates from Rampur are celebrating the victory in the by-election at their farmhouse.
The victory is doubly sweet for Lodhi – he recently left the Samajwadi Party for the BJP and received the award. Though the voting percentage was less than 50 per cent, Lodhi won the Lok Sabha seat from Asim Raja of the SP by over 40,000 votes.
“It is an achievement for all those party workers who worked hard for months. I felt that the Samajwadi Party does not deserve to win because they have no vision and no ambition. I left the party because I wanted to change things. Today, I have everyone’s support,” he says.
Meanwhile, it is difficult to shake the gloom of defeat in the Samajwadi Party office.
He said, ‘I don’t want to say much but it is sad to lose in Rampur. We expected and it’s a bad loss. We insisted for more votes but everything was in turmoil. Nominations were filed at the last minute and did not get much support from the leaders. We have the capability and we will work towards the next election. Other workers alleged that the BJP contested the elections in an unfair manner.
Most disappointed, apparently, was the veteran Azam Khan, who refused to accept the result. “Why would you call it an election? My workers were detained and beaten up. Our supporters were threatened and abused by the police. Lodhi is lucky to have a party that can break rules and be happy. I can’t do all that. I have spent months in jail. I run a school here and am the chancellor of the university. My motto has always been to help people. But can anyone fight against us with police and hooliganism? Name us Called out and people were stopped from voting. There were only 6 votes from a place where 900 votes could have come. I refuse to believe that it was a fair election.”
“I will not give up. I resigned and the seat was given to Asim Raja as he is a deserving candidate. We will continue to work for the betterment of the people. They cannot win all elections with violence,” Khan said.
After the declaration of the results, the streets in the city were in silence and many people refused to talk about the election. Many local residents said they were happy with the results, but didn’t expect much.
Newsletter | Click to get the best interpreters of the day delivered to your inbox
A resident said: “I saw the results on TV. We hope they make some changes here. Power cuts and roads are major problems. It is a developing city and we want change.”
Baldev Singh Aulakh, BJP MLA from Bilaspur assembly constituency, who came to meet Lodhi, said, “We are working very hard to get two SP seats. Our workers were campaigning every day and we have a vision for the betterment of the people. We are not thinking about the communities but want to give more jobs and better opportunities to the people in Rampur. I think people understand this and want us to help them. All 80 seats will be ours in 2024.