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SP fields Akhilesh’s wife Dimple Yadav for Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll

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Lucknow, Nov 10 (PTI): Samajwadi Party on Thursday announced the name of party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav as its candidate for Mainpuri parliamentary seat, which fell vacant after the death of Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The bypoll on the seat will be held on December 5 and the result will be declared on December 8.

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“The party declares Dimple Yadav as candidate for Mainpuri bypoll,” Samajwadi Party (SP) said on its official Twitter handle.

Dimple Yadav, 44, had lost the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 to BJP candidate Subrat Pathak from Kannauj.

Reacting to the development, BJP said the SP cannot come out of dynastic politics and added that people would vote for the party this time seeing good work under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath.

Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSPL) said a final decision on this seat will be taken by the party leadership.

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“We have yet to decide on this seat. The party leadership will make a decision in this regard soon,” a PSPL spokesperson said.

In 2019, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav won the seat by a margin of more than 94 thousand votes over his nearest rival BJP’s Prem Singh Shakya.

Name of Mulayam’s grandson Tej Pratap Yadav, former MP from Mainpuri, was doing the rounds as the probable SP candidate from the seat, but the choice ultimately fell on Dimple Yadav.

Dimple Yadav’s candidature is seen as the SP’s efforts to carry forward the legacy of her father-in-law on the seat, considered a stronghold of the party since 1996. Her selection is also seen as an attempt to unite party cadres ahead of the bypoll.

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Akhiklesh’s Karhal assembly seat is part of Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency and so is Jaswant Nagar represented by Shivpal Yadav..

Dimple Yadav was elected unopposed from the Kannauj constituency to the Lok Sabha in 2012 after Akhilesh became the chief minister and resigned from the seat to enter the Uttar Pradesh legislative council.

The declaration of Dimple Yadav’s candidature would put a tough challenge to the BJP which is yet to announce its candidate for the seat.

BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “What else could you expect from the SP, which only gives preference to its family. The people of Mainpuri will this time elect a BJP MP.”

SP leader and former MLC Rajpal Kashyap said that his party candidate will win by a record margin. “People of Mainpuri have always supported the SP. After the death of Netaji, people will once again support the party and give us a chance to serve them,” Kashyap said.

According to sources in parties, Yadavs account for about 35 per cent of the total 12.13 lakh voters in Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency while the rest include Shakyas, Thakurs, Brahmins, scheduled castes and Muslims.

When asked, congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said that it was SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav’s seat and “we welcome their decision”.

About whether congress will contest on the seat or not, Singh said, “We have yet to decide. We still have time.”

Mayawati-led BSP is yet to take a call on the Mainpuri bypoll.

BSP’s Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali had polled over 2.5 lakh votes in Azamgarh by-election which helped BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav alias Nirahua beat SP’s nominee Dharmendra Yadav in the seat vacated by Akhilesh Yadav after becoming MLA.

Mainpuri parliamentary constituency has five assembly segments, including Mainpuri, Bhogaon, Kishni, Karhal and Jaswant Nagar. While SP won three seats, BJP got two in the 2022 polls.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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