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Chunav Flashback: When Meira Kumar faced Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati in Bijnor bypoll of 1985

The bypoll in Bijnor Lok Sabha seat happened after the death of then Congress MP Girdhari Lal. Meira Kumar, a debutant, had quit Indian Foreign Service. She is the daughter of former deputy Prime Minister and prominent SC leader Jagjivan Ram.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 22, 2024 13:13 IST
Chunav Flashback: Bijnor bypoll of 1985
Image Source : INDIA TV Chunav Flashback: Bijnor bypoll of 1985

Chunav Flashback: In 1985, the Bijnor Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh witnessed an interesting bypoll contest between Congress' Meira Kumar, Janata Dal's Ram Vilas Paswan and Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) Mayawati. It was for the very first time when Congress leader Meira Kumar entered into the electoral politics and faced two big dalit leaders, Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati.

Hailing from a dalit family too, Meira Kumar took on the challenge and proved her candidature against her Scheduled Caste (SC) opponents.

Meira Kumar received Congress' nomination for the Lok Sabha from the Bijnor constituency bypoll in Uttar Pradesh in 1985.

As a newcomer in the electoral politics, she defeated two veteran dalit leaders including Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati.

Meira Kumar received a total of 1,28,086 votes, Ram Vilas Paswan secured 1,22,747 while Mayawati was a distant third with 61,504 votes.

The Congress dalit leader defeated Ram Vilas Paswan by a margin of 5,339 votes.

Following her election to the Lok Sabha, Kumar was appointed as member of the Ministry of External Affairs' Consultative Committee in 1986.

In 1984, the Congress recorded a historical victory in Uttar Pradesh -- which had 85 parliamentary seats at that time -- after it secured 83 seats while two were won by Lok Dal.

Meira Kumar is the daughter of former deputy Prime Minister and prominent Schedule Caste leader Jagjivan Ram.

In 2024, the key contest in Bijnor is between Samajwadi Party's (SP) Deepak Saini, Rashtriya Lok Dal's (RLD) Chandan Chauhan and BSP's Chaudhary Vijendra Singh. Polling in Bijnor has already concluded in the first phase on April 19. 

ALSO READ | Chunav flashback: Congress paid a heavy price for Sanjay Gandhi's sterilisation initiative in 1977 elections

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