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Wife trounced in polls, Mulayam's son takes blame
Akhilesh Yadav says he accepts challenge thrown by the Congress.
Firozabad: An upset Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, the son of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Thursday said his wife Dimple's defeat in the FirozabadLok Sabha by-election was a verdict against him.
"The verdict is against me. I had won the seat earlier," Akhilesh Yadav said at a press conference in Firozabad with his wife next to him.
Dimple Yadav was defeated by the Congress' Raj Babbar, who had left the Samajwadi Party, by more than 85,000 votes.
Projecting the fight in the seat, which was represented by him earlier, as one between him and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh said: "I congratulate Rahul Gandhi."
He said Uttar Pradesh would now witness a battle between secular forces, represented by him, and the Congress.
"If someone throws challenges at me, I accept it," said a clearly miffed Akhilesh as he pitched himself as a national leader.
He also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of covertly forging an electoral alliance with the Congress in Firozabad.
The defeat was a huge blow to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who wanted his daughter-in-law to overcome the challenge of Raj Babbar.