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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh files nomination from Kannauj, BJP nominee says it'll be 'India-Pak' contest now

Earlier the SP had declared that Tej Pratap Yadav, who was the son-in-law of former Bihar chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, would be the party nominee from Kannauj but Akhilesh decided to contest from there reportedly after the local party workers expressed their resentment over Tej Pratap's candidature.
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 07:12 IST
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 07:12 IST

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Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday filed his nomination papers from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat where he would be facing sitting MP and BJP nominee Subrat Pathak.

Earlier the SP had declared that Tej Pratap Yadav, who was the son-in-law of former Bihar chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, would be the party nominee from Kannauj but Akhilesh decided to contest from there reportedly after the local party workers expressed their resentment over Tej Pratap's candidature.

Akhilesh, who was accompanied by party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and other senior leaders, submitted four sets of nomination papers. BJP candidate Subrat Pathak also filed his nomination papers on Thursday a few hours before Akhilesh. Thursday was the last day for filing of nomination from the seat.

''History will be repeated in Kannauj ,'' Akhilesh said after filing his nomination papers.

Sources in the SP said that Tej Pratap was not willing to contest from Kannauj and that the party did not have any other suitable candidate. ''Kannauj has been our stronghold...the electorate wanted someone from the Mulayam Singh Yadav family to contest from there....Akhileshji's candidature will not only ensure victory at Kannauj but also influence the outcome of the polls in several neighbouring constituencies,'' said a senior SP leader while speaking to DH here.

Akhilesh's wife Dimple Yadav had contested the Lok Sabha poll from Kannauj in 2019 but had lost to Pathak by a slender margin. Dimple was the SP candidate from Mainpuri seat this time. The SP had won the seat from 1998 to 2014.

While the SP leaders exuded confidence that they would wrest Kannauj seat from the BJP in the forthcoming poll, Pathak claimed otherwise. ''Now the electorate of Kannauj will get to see an India-Pakistan like contest,'' Pathak said. The BJP nominee also slammed Akhilesh for visiting the family of gangster turned politician Mukhtar Ansari who died in Banda district jail a few days back.

According to the SP sources, Akhilesh's decision to take a plunge into the electoral arena was to counter the BJP's repeated remarks that he was shying away from the battle as he was not certain about his win.

Kannauj has a sizable population of Muslims, dalits and Yadavs. A large section of the dalits were believed to have voted for the BJP nominee in 2019 Lok Sabha poll. It remains to be seen if Akhilesh will indeed repeat the history.

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Published 25 April 2024, 07:12 IST

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