'Uncle-Nephew' tussle may help BJP in 'Bangle Town'

Rebel SP leader and Mulayam's younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, who has formed a separate outfit, is in the fray here against his own nephew and sitting SP MP Akshoy Yadav, the son of SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav. (PTI File Photo)

The raging battle within the Samajwadi Party (SP) patron Mulayam Singh Yadav's family can be seen playing out in the electoral arena in this town, which is famous for its colourful bangles and glass industry, about 325 kilometres from the state capital of Lucknow.

Rebel SP leader and Mulayam's younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, who has formed a separate outfit, is in the fray here against his own nephew and sitting SP MP Akshoy Yadav, the son of SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav.

The bitter electoral battle between the uncle and the nephew could benefit the BJP despite the fact that there was an alliance between SP, BSP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).

Shivpal has been campaigning here like a man possessed. ''Shivpal is deeply hurt by the treatment meted out to him by Ram Gopal and SP president Akhilesh Yadav.....he is pleading with the voters to help him to teach them a lesson,'' says Yogesh Yadav, a resident of Makhanpur in the constituency and a Shivpal supporter.

To add to Akshoy's woes, local SP legislator Hari Om Yadav has pledged loyalty to Shivpal. ''I am indebted to Shivpal....it was because of him that I am an MLA,'' he said while speaking to Deccan Herald.

The Akshoy camp, however, is confident. ''Shivpal will not be able to make a dent into the committed SP voters....he, at best, can secure a few thousand votes,'' says Asit Kumar Yadav, a local resident.

In 2014 LS polls, Akshoy had romped home by a margin of over 1.14 lakh votes despite the 'Modi wave'. Akshoy had secured over 5.34 lakh votes while his BJP rival could get 4.20 lakh votes only. The BSP nominee had then secured 1.18 lakh votes.

''The BSP is with us this time,'' Asit added.

BJP candidate Chandrsen Jadaun, however, feels that the tussle between the two 'yadavs' will ''help'' him. ''The two family members will eat into each other's votes,'' he says.

BJP leaders here said that the people would rise above the caste affiliations and support prime minister Narendra Modi. ''People want to see Modi become PM again,'' says former BJP legislator Manish Aseeja.

Muslims and 'Yadavs', who formed around 15 and 12 per cent of the total electorate in Firozabad, were deciding factors here. While the Muslims were almost unanimous in their support for the SP, there appears to be a division among the 'yadavs'. 

Polling would be held here on Tuesday.

Total Electorate- 16.36 lakh

2014 winner-Akshoy Yadav (SP)

2014 runners up-S.S.Baghel (BJP)

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