Months after communal riots hit western Uttar Pradesh, voters in 10 constituencies that are considered communally sensitive go to polls todays.
In Muzaffarnagar, where some of the worst riots occurred, nearly 15 lakh people are eligible to vote today.
Many believe the SP and BJP both stand to benefit from the polarisation of votes that occurred in the aftermath of the violence. The Samajawadi Party’s Virender Singh is contesting against BSP’s Kadir Rana, a riot accused and the current incumbent, Pankaj Agarwal from the Congress and Sanjeev Kumar Balyan from the BJP.
Many opinion polls and surveys have shown that that Muslim voters may still vote for the Samajwadi Party and some for the BSP, while the Jat’s will vote the Hindu nationalist BJP.
While this polarisation may help the BJP capture a larger Hindu vote share, many Brahmin Hindu’s in Uttar Pradesh are upset over the complete take over by the Thakur class and this may derail the BJP’s plans in the northern state.