As the by-elections inch closer for Azamgarh parliamentary seat, nearly all major political parties are sweating it out in extreme heat to reach out to voters. On one hand, the Bhartiya Janata Party has fielded Dinesh Lal Yadav, popularly known as Nirahau, in an attempt to attract Yadav voters, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali to attract Muslim voters.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party looks to retain the seat which was vacated by SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav by fielding his cousin Dharmendra Yadav. Apart from these, 10 more candidates are trying their luck in the upcoming Azamgarh parliamentary bypoll which will be held on June 23.
In the 2019 general elections, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was elected MP from Azamgarh seat. In the assembly elections this year, the SP won all the ten seats in the district. SP Chief Akhilesh had also won his first ever assembly election from Karhal seat in Mainpuri and decided to continue as an MLA. Akhilesh then vacated this seat as an MP due to which bypoll has been necessitated for the Azamgarh seat.
Interestingly, even during the Modi wave, BJP has never been able to perform well in Azamgarh which is considered a Samajwadi Party bastion.
In 2019, BJP candidate Nirahua had bagged around 3.6 lakh votes while Akhilesh Yadav secured more than 6 lakh votes. It seems like the SP does not want to take any chances in Azamgarh and which is why Akhilesh Yadav’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav has been fielded for bypoll at the last moment.
The BSP has fielded Guddu Jamali and has announced a list of 40 star campaigners for this seat, including BSP Chief Mayawati herself. This can be seen as an indicator as to how much the BSP is serious about the contest in this SP bastion.
BJP has also announced a long list of star campaigners for its candidate Nirahua. Many Bhojpuri singers and stars are already campaigning for Nirahua in Azamgarh. The BJP is also focusing on booth handling as the party has established 311 Shakti Kendras to reach out to voters with the help of various fronts.
The BJP veterans are trying to reach out to the voters based on the ground reports of various cells. Preparations are being made to reach 10 lakh voters of the parliamentary constituency. BJP has prepared a grand plan at booth level. In order to implement their strategy on the ground, conferences are being organised by dividing it into 311 Shakti Kendras of eight booths in 22 divisions.
On the other hand, SP leaders are busy in their ‘cycling yatras’ (cycle tours) to reach out to the voters of Azamgarh. SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav has said that the workers of various fronts of the party will lay the foundation of victory by reaching out to 10 lakh voters.
As per information, ten MLAs of SP along with different teams comprising youngsters, women, backward, scheduled tribe, farmers and minority fronts are busy reaching out to people of Azamgarh.
Apart from this, teams formed at the divisional and sector level, are holding separate conferences at a Shakti Kendra of booths, in which different members of the various frontal organisations of SP are participating.