'Bhojpuri' film star to challenge Akhilesh in Azamgarh

Nirahua, who had joined the BJP a few days back, was on Wednesday nominated by the saffron party from Azamgarh.

'Bhojpuri' film star Dinesh Lal Yadav alias Nirahua would be challenging Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat.

Nirahua, who had joined the BJP a few days back, was on Wednesday nominated by the saffron party from Azamgarh.

Nirahua, who had acted in dozens of 'Bhojpuri' films and enjoyed huge popularity, especially among the youths in eastern UP and the bordering districts in Bihar, had campaigned for the SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav in Azamgarh in 2014 LS polls. Mulayam had contested from Azamgarh then.

''Nirahua has a huge fan following in eastern UP....his presence in the fray will also boost our chances on the nearby LS seats as well...as he hails from the same caste to which Akhilesh belongs, we expect him to make a dent into the SP's Yadav vote bank also,'' said a senior UP BJP leader while speaking to Deccan Herald here.

SP leaders, however, sought to make light of Nirahua's nomination. ''He may be a popular actor but he is not a match to Akhilesh, who has a bigger stature... Nirahua may draw crowds but not votes,'' said SP spokesman Uadaiveer Singh.

In 2014 LS polls, Mulayam had scraped through in Azamgarh by 60 thousand votes in a triangular contest.  Azamgarh is considered to be a safer seat given the fact that it has a sizable number of the electorate from 'Yadav', Muslim and SC communities and this time SP and BSP have an electoral alliance.

In 2014 the SP and BSP had together polled more than six lakh votes. The BJP nominee had polled only 2.77 lakh votes then.

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'Bhojpuri' film star to challenge Akhilesh in Azamgarh

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