Azamgarh: Geared up to cast their vote in the second phase of Uttar Pradesh elections, the people of Purvanchal seem to be reluctant in electing tainted and powerful candidates for the state assembly.  Observing the dejection faced by the people of Purvanchal due to crime in the region, major political parties have avoided giving tickets to musclemen. However, these candidates have grabbed the opportunity to join the regional parties who are about half a dozen in number.

Though this has brought some relief to the voters, it is proving to be a tough challenge for bigger players as regional parties by inducting such candidates have created difficulties for them.

However, the results will only decide the fate of these regional parties and their relevance in the state.

The BJP and the Congress seem to be on a strong footing in Gorakhpur, Deoria, Maharajganj and Padrauna as they stand to benefit from the regional parties who look to split the vote bank of the BSP and SP in the region.The regional parties like Bhartiya Samaj Party, Peace Party, Qaumi Ekta Dal, Apna Dal, Indian Justice Party and Ulema Council have made their existence felt in the region.

 Apna Dal is active in Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Allahabad with the party general secretary Anupriya Patel contesting elections form Varanasi. While Ulema Council holds a strong ground in Azamgarh, Mau and Jaunpur; the Peace Party which came into limelight after Batla House encounter has a foot hold in Basti, Bahraich, Gonda and Gorakhpur. 

Bharatiya Samaj Party has fielded its candidates in Gorakhpur, Basti, Deoria, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Ballia and Mau while party president Omprakash Rajbhar is contesting from Ghazipur.  The Peace Party has fielded 50 candidates in the elections. 

These regional parties may hamper the prospects of their rivals in the state who are looking to benefit from the polarization of Muslim votes.