Family members of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s “gurus" have gone the extra mile by campaigning for his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav for the December 5 Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll to ensure the Samajwadi Party founder’s political legacy remains intact.
In the bypoll, which was necessitated due to the death of Mulayam Singh Yadav last month, Dimple Yadav has been fielded by the Samajwadi Party (SP) against BJP’s Raghuraj Singh Shakya. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s school teacher Udai Pratap Singh and family members of Nathu Singh, considered his political guru, had hit the campaign trail for the SP candidate and have exuded confidence that she will be victorious from the seat, won by the SP founder five times.
Ninety-one-year-old Udai Pratap, who has been twice elected MP from Mainpuri in 1989 and 1991, said a large section of the electorate is supporting Dimple Yadav.
“For a couple of days, I had also campaigned for her in this constituency, and if free and fair polls are held, then she will sweep the bypoll," he said and remembered the SP founder as a bright and intelligent student and a good sportsman.
Top SP leaders, including Dimple Yadav’s husband and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, led an aggressive campaign for the bypoll to the seat which has been a party stronghold. Nathu Singh’s grandson Neeraj Yadav told PTI: “Our entire family is campaigning for Dimple Yadav in the Karhal assembly segment that falls under the Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency." “We share a family bond with them. People will vote for her and she will definitely win the bypoll with a huge margin. She will also better ‘netaji’s’ (as Mulayam Singh Yadav was popularly known as) 2019 victory margin," he said.
Udai Pratap taught Mulayam Singh Yadav at the Jain Inter College in Karhal where the SP founder, later, joined as an assistant teacher and worked his way to become a lecturer for political science. The institution is one of the centre’s where polling will be held on December 5.
Jain Inter College principal Yaduveer Narayan Dubey told PTI: “He took admission in the college in class 9 in 1955, and in 1959, he passed class 12. Then he went to Etawah and Shikohabad (in Firozabad district) to pursue higher education. In 1963, he started working here as an assistant lecturer." “Subsequently in 1967, he became MLA, and he used to avail the option of leave without pay when the Uttar Pradesh assembly session was on. In 1984, the government came up with a rule that one person cannot work on two posts, following which he resigned from here in 1984," he said.
He joined as a teacher and taught most of the subjects, but later on becoming a lecturer, he taught political science, Dubey said.
The college, established in 1945, has been imparting quality education to children of this region and it is just four kilometres from Mulayam Singh Yadav’s native village Saifai, the principal said.
He added that when ‘netaji’ was a student, there were hardly any schools in his village’s vicinity.
‘Netaji’ always had strong relations with the college and its teachers, even when he became chief minister. Whether he was on personal or political visits, he made sure to come and interact with students, Dubey said.
He said some students also had a family-like connection with ‘netaji’. “This is because children used to come here from villages nearly 15-20 kilometres far, and since netaji’s village was the centre, many connected with him," Dubey said.
The principal also said the school auditorium, which is being built, has been named after Mulayam Singh Yadav, and it is known as ‘Mulyam Singh Prekshagrah’.
“We also have the service book of ‘netaji’, his GPF ledger, and the approval letter, when he was appointed a teacher here. These documents are with us, and we have conserved them," he said.
The Mainpuri parliamentary constituency has five assembly segments — Mainpuri, Bhogaon, Kishni, Karhal and Jaswant Nagar. In the 2022 assembly elections, the SP won the Karhal, Kishni and Jaswant Nagar seats, while the BJP won the Mainpuri and the Bhogaon seats.
While Akhilesh Yadav represents Karhal in the assembly, his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav is the MLA from Jaswant Nagar.
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