Mulayam may contest in eastern UP to fight Modi

Mulayam may contest in eastern UP to fight Modi

Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders, especially those from eastern Uttar Pradesh, have been exerting pressure on their leader Mulayam Singh Yadav to contest the polls from Azamgarh constituency to counter BJP’s Narendra Modi, who is contesting from Varanasi.

SP leaders believe Modi's candidature from Varanasi in eastern UP might have an effect on their chances from the region. “Eastern UP has been our strength and BJP’s weak spot...BJP will like to improve its position in the region and that can happen only at the expense of the SP,” said a senior SP leader here.

Varanasi and Azamgarh are barely 100 km apart and this proximity could turn the electoral fight into a ‘Modi versus Mulayam’ one, feel the SP leaders. Azamgarh, which has a sizable presence of Yadav and Muslim voters, had been a stronghold of the SP. But
the BJP won it in 2009 polls.

“We would like to recapture it and we can win the seat if Mulayam contests from Azamgarh,” the leader said.

SP sources said that Mulayam’s candidature from Azamgarh would depend upon Modi contesting from Varanasi. Mulayam currently represents Mainpuri. SP’s internal calculations are that  Mulayam, on winning and retaining Azamgarh, may vacate the Mainpuri seat in favour of a family member.

Modi and Mulayam have been trading charges in their rallies in UP. Incidentally, both the parties are having a competition of sorts, with their recent rallies being held on the same day in different locations.

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