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Give Up as Azamgarh MP or Karhal MLA? Tough Call for Akhilesh Yadav With 2024 at Stake

By: Aman Sharma

News18.com

Last Updated: March 12, 2022, 08:45 IST

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference at party office in Lucknow, on March 8, 2022. (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference at party office in Lucknow, on March 8, 2022. (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)

Uttar Pradesh election result 2022: A member of the Yadav family is tipped to contest the bypoll necessitated by whichever seat Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav chooses to vacate.

After giving a keen fight to the BJP and taking his party’s vote-share in Uttar Pradesh to the highest-ever level of 32.1%, Akhilesh Yadav faces the tough choice of giving up either his Lok Sabha seat of Azamgarh or his first-ever Assembly seat of Karhal.

Two Samajwadi Party leaders told News18.com on condition of anonymity that “nothing has been decided so far” and the former chief minister would take a call. One of them, however, said a feeling amongst the cadre was that Akhilesh should retain his MLA seat and lead the Opposition’s charge against the Yogi Adityanath government in the Assembly as the party wishes to build on the momentum for 2027. Another leader said that in light of 2024 Lok Sabha battle, Akhilesh may retain his MP seat.

Yadav fought his first-ever MLA election from Karhal this time and won comfortably by nearly 70,000 votes. In 2019, Akhilesh won from Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat by 2.6 lakh votes. He needs to give up one of the seats now.

SP is the only big Opposition party in the Assembly now with BSP and Congress being decimated. “Akhilesh’s presence as party leader in the Assembly would keep the Yogi government on its toes,” an SP leader said. Akhilesh was earlier an MLC in the Legislative Council till 2018.

The SP alliance has secured 125 seats in the 403-member Assembly while BSP was reduced to just one seat and Congress to two seats. SP on its own has won 111 seats, up from 47 in 2017, while its vote share rose from 22% in 2017 to 32% now.

Akhilesh Yadav in a tweet on Saturday said all the winning MLAs of the SP-RLD alliance should fulfil their responsibility of helping out people in their constituencies. Karhal seat which Akhilesh won falls under the Mainpuri district, which is a Yadav stronghold.

Azamgarh, the Lok Sabha constituency of Akhilesh Yadav, is also key stronghold of the Samajwadi Party and the party won all 10 Assembly seats in Azamgarh district this time as well as in 2017. Not just this, SP made gains in other eastern UP districts this time like in Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Mau and Ambedkar Nagar.

In the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections now, which will be the priority for Akhilesh Yadav, his presence in Parliament as an MP to stitch broader understanding with other parties will be key.

A member of the Yadav family is tipped to contest the bypoll necessitated by whichever seat Akhilesh chooses to vacate.

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first published:March 12, 2022, 08:45 IST
last updated:March 12, 2022, 08:45 IST