Mirzapur is the battleground of a triangular contest - Union minister of state for health and family welfare and Apna Dal (NDA ally) chief Anupriya Patel faced her mother's Apna Dal faction's candidate (Congress ally) Lalitesh Pati Tripathi and the SP-BSP-RLD (gathbandhan) alliance's candidate Ram Charitra Nishad. This contest had a close finish when Anupriya Patel won with 5,90,867 votes, as of 10:27 PM.
Poll campaign issues:
Mirzapur which is among India's 250 most backward districts is in dire need of development. Geographically located in rocky terrain, Mirzapur faces poverty, water scarcity and lack of interconnectivity between villages in the farm and forest belt. While the area is receiving funds from the Centre's various schemes, on the ground, the execution is lacking.
Though these are major issues for Mirzapur on the ground, polls were influenced by the popularity of the Prime Minister favouring the BJP while the caste equation favoured the 'gathbandhan' alliance.
Patel who is the sitting MP had campaigned based solely on the development she has achieved in the last five years - the national highway linking Mirzapur with Varanasi, sanctioning of a medical college and Kendriya Vidyalaya and creation of an out-patient department in Banaras Hindu University south campus.
Her Congress ally opponent, Tripathi who had lost to Patel in 2014, has mainly focussed his campaign on pointing out Patel shortcomings, attracting a section of minorities and the BJP's vote bank - the brahmins who are apparently unhappy with Patel.
Nishad, the other candidate in the fray is the sitting BJP MP of Machhlishahr who defected from the saffron party to SP after being denied the Machhlishahr ticket. He had campaigned along with the SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to woo the OBCs, Muslims and Dalits. His campaign ran into trouble when Yadav's rally attracted only 6000-700 people which had been viewed as a set back for the 'gathbandhan'.
The Congress has won Mirzapur five times, the SP four times, the BJP twice, and the BSP twice.
Mirzapur grabbed national spotlight when SP candidate and former bandit Phoolan Devi won the seat in 1996, lost the seat in a mid-term poll in 1998 and won it again in 1999 before she was murdered in 2001.
The seat had been previously held by dacoit Dadua’s brother and SP leader Bal Kumar Patel from 2004 to 2014 before Patel who had allied with the BJP which aimed at breaking the caste equation favouring SP and BSP, won the seat beating Samudra Bind of BSP by receiving 43.30% of the votes cast.
Mirzapur polled in the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls on May 19.