Rivals no match for Mulayam in Azamgarh

Rivals no match for Mulayam in Azamgarh

Rivals no match for Mulayam in Azamgarh

Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had decided to contest from Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency to counter the impact of Narendra Modi, who is contesting from Varanasi, in the eastern region of the state that has 33 seats, and he seems to be succeeding in doing that, at least in Azamgarh.

Mulayam appears to have support in almost every section of the society, which is something rare in the caste-ridden politics of the region. “For the first time development has become an issue in polls here,” says social activist Pankaj Gautam, a resident of the town.

“For the people of the constituency, Mulayam’s victory will mean development of the area. There is nothing here for the youths and they migrate in large numbers to other states in search of jobs. They may now hope that big industries will come here,” Gautam told Deccan Herald. The only sugar mill in the district has been closed rendering many unemployed.

Although the BJP nominee too is a ‘Yadav’ and a sitting MP as well, Mulayam is expected to corner a large chunk of his community votes.

A section of the Muslims, who number around 2.25 lakh here, are sore with the SP regime for its failure to check recurring communal riots in the state and the failure of the government to ensure release of “innocent” youths, who have been languishing in the jails on terror charges. “In 2012, Akhilesh Yadav had promised that he will make sure that innocent Muslim youths are released but nothing has happened so far,” says Tarique Shafique.

Tarique feels that there would be division in the Muslim votes this time. “BSP nominee Shah Alam will also get Muslim votes,” he claimed. According to him, the ‘Yadav’ votes would also be divided but the majority would be supporting Mulayam.

The constituency goes to polls on May 12.