Akhilesh fights own men in Yadav land

Akhilesh fights own men in Yadav land

Nowhere in the state is the electoral battle for SP chief Akhilesh Yadav more daunting than in Yadav land as he faces his ‘own men’ here along with political rivals.

Unlike the 2012 Assembly polls, when Akhilesh had his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav spearheading the campaign, the chief minister is now the lone campaigner for his party.

Mulayam is not in demand and Shivpal has turned against Akhilesh.

“I am fighting my own people in my native district along with the BSP and BJP,” Akhilesh said at a recent election meeting here. “We have been able to save the cycle (party’s poll symbol). Now, we have to take the cycle to the Assembly and for this, I need your help,” he said.

Keeping a keen eye

Political observers are keenly watching the electoral battle in Etawah and the nearby districts of Mainpuri, Etah and Auraiya, considered the party’s bastions and which have a large number of voters from the Yadav community. Yadavs constitute around 20% of the electorate in some districts.

Old Mulayam loyalists have also turned against Akhilesh and are now working for his rivals. Some political observers said that the SP family feud will affect the party’s electoral performance in this belt. “The family fight will impact the party though its extent cannot be predicted,” Prabhat Chaturvedi, a media analyst, told DH. However, analysts also said that the feud has boosted Akhilesh’s image.

“Akhilesh has been able to get rid of, at least to some extent, the ‘goonda’ tag associated with his party. For the locals, Shivpal is a good riddance for the SP,” a local scribe said.

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