In an attempt to make peace with his estranged uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav ahead of the Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, along with his wife and party nominee Dimple Yadav, met him on Thursday and sought support.
The Mainpuri byelection, scheduled for December 5, was necessitated by the demise of SP founder and three-time Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“Along with the blessings of ‘Netaji’ and elders of the family, the people of Mainpuri are also with us,” wrote Mr. Yadav with a photograph of the meeting on social networking site twitter. On Wednesday, Mr. Shivpal, who is also the Jaswantnagar MLA, held a meeting with his supporters and asked them to work for the SP candidate. The Jaswantnagar Assembly segment comes under the Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency.
The Mainpuri byelection is witnessing a high-stakes battle with the SP fielding late Mulayam Singh’s daughter-in-law. The BJP, which has never won this seat, is leaving no stone unturned this time and has put up SP turncoat and two-term Lok Sabha member from adjoining Etawah, Raghuraj Singh Shakya. The Shakya community, which comes under the Other Backward Classes (OBC), is the second most populous social group after Yadavs in the constituency.
After the SP president’s meeting with his uncle, the Opposition BJP attacked the SP. “SP is scared of defeat that’s why Akhilesh is meeting his uncle who was kept isolated in the party till now. Shivpal Singh Yadav was not included in the star campaigner list in previous bypolls by the party,” said State BJP president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary.
The Mainpuri seat is represented by the SP since 1996 in the Lok Sabha with Mulayam Singh representing the constituency five times. Despite an adverse electoral history against the saffron party, it is still hopeful of breaching the citadel of the SP, due to a relatively better performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and the recent successes in the Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha bypolls.