Akhilesh, Mulayam may choose 'safer' seats in 2019

To focus on central and western regions of UP

Akhilesh, Mulayam may choose 'safer' seats in 2019

Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav could replace his wife Dimple Yadav as party nominee to contest from his old bastion of Kannauj in the 2019 Lok Sabha (LS) elections.

Akhilesh's father and SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav could also opt for the safe seat of Mainpuri instead of Azamgarh in the polls.

A hint to this effect was dropped by Akhilesh while speaking to reporters here on Monday. ''I would like to contest from Kannauj,'' he said. The SP supremo however added that it was his ''personal wish''.

The Kannauj seat is currently held by Dimple, who had scraped through in the 2014 LS polls by a slender margin of around 20,000 votes.

Akhilesh had won from the same seat in 2009 LS polls but resigned after becoming the chief minister of the state in 2012.

According to SP sources here, Akhilesh's decision to contest from Kannauj was aimed at keeping his old fort intact. The SP had fared poorly in the recent urban local body polls in Kannauj district.

Sources said that Mulayam too wanted to contest from the comparatively safer seat of Mainpuri rather than Azamgarh, which he currently represents.

In the 2014 LS polls, Mulayam had contested for both the seats and emerged victorious at both places.

In Azamgarh, however, he faced a tough fight from the BJP and managed to win by a little over 60,000 votes. He later resigned from Mainpuri.

SP leaders said that Akhilesh and Mulayam would prefer to focus on the seats in the central and western regions of the state rather than stretching themselves by opting for seats in the east, where they might have to face a tough fight from the BJP and the BSP.

The party leaders also said that Dimple might say goodbye to active politics.

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