Mulayam backs grandnephew

Mulayam backs grandnephew

None of the “political family” members of Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav have made a grand political debut as Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, his grandnephew.

Mulayam’s entire “political clan” has been sweating it out on the family turf of Mainpuri to ensure that the newest entrant starts his political career with a win.

Mulayam has addressed as many as six rallies in different parts of the constituency while his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav had set up camp to make things smooth for Tej Pratap, who was the block pramukh of Saifai, the native village of the Yadavs.

Party MP from nearby Budaun constituency and Mulayam’s nephew Dharmendra Yadav also actively campaigned here along with a host of SP ministers. In fact, the ministers have been entrusted with the responsibility of wooing their respective caste members.

“The Yadavs are solidly behind us and so are the Muslims...we only need to work on the other castes such as dalits, brahmins and the other backward castes,” said a local SP leader.

Of the total electorate of around 16  lakhs, Yadavs constitute around 23 per cent followed by dalits, who are around 17 per cent. In the recent Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam led from four of the five Assembly segments of Jaswant Nagar, Kisni, Karhal and Sadar but he trailed his BJP rival S S Chauhan in Bhogaon, which has a strong  backward caste  presence.

Not only Mulayam, but other SP leaders as well as many in the constituency are certain of Tej Pratap’s victory. “He will win by a bigger margin,” said Ramesh Singh Yadav, a resident of Bhogaon. 

For many, Mainpuri’s VIP tag, which is so dear to them, would remain intact if Tej Pratap wins. 

For the BJP, it is a straight contest with the SP, as the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress are not in the fray.

Firebrand BJP leader Yogi Adityanath is slated to campaign here. A host of senior BJP leaders have already launched their rallies. 

BJP candidate Prem Singh Shakya is quite popular among the party workers, but denial of ticket to Chauhan has not gone down well with his supporters.

Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary and in-charge of the polls Ram Shankar Katehria has accused the administration of working for the SP. “The SP will lose if a free and fair poll is held here,” he told Deccan Herald.

The two parties are eying the huge dalit vote bank, which seems to be divided in the absence of a BSP nominee.
 For the SP, the outcome of the polls will have huge political significance as a loss here will be a pointer toward the things to come in 2017 Assembly elections. 

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