The Samajwadi Party on Wednesday said it would contest the Mainpuri Lok Sabha and Rampur Sadar and Khatauli Assembly bypolls with ally Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The Mainpuri parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of Samajwadi Party (SP) patron Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Rampur Sadar and Khatauli Assembly seats were vacated after the disqualification of SP’s Azam Khan and the BJP’s Vikram Saini, respectively, after their convictions in separate cases.
“While (the) SP will field its candidate in Rampur Assembly and Mainpuri parliamentary constituencies, (the) RLD candidate will contest from Khatauli," the party said on its official Twitter handle.
The bypolls will be held on December 5 and the results declared on December 8. However, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of India not to issue till Thursday the notification for the bypoll in Rampur Sadar.
RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary had already made it clear that his party’s alliance with the SP would continue.
“Whether it is a big or small election, our alliance with (the) SP will continue. We had contested the Khatauli seat earlier and we have got another chance. Our workers will support SP candidates in Rampur and Mainpuri," Chaudhary had said when asked about the RLD-SP alliance in local body polls.
At the SP headquarters on Wednesday, party chief Akhilesh Yadav held a meeting with senior leaders to discuss the candidates for Mainpuri and Rampur, a leader said here.
As per talks in political circles, while Tej Pratap Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav are prospective candidates from Mainpuri, the party nominee in Rampur would be Khan’s choice.
Khan represented Rampur Sadar 10 times in the Assembly while his wife Tazeen Fatima won from the seat once. The BJP has never won from Rampur Sadar, a Muslim-dominated seat. But a win in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls in Rampur, the parliamentary constituency under which Rampur Sadar falls, gives it hope of bucking the trend.
Though the outcome of the bypolls in the two Assembly and the lone Lok Sabha seat will impact the governments at the Centre and the state where the BJP has a comfortable majority, a win would provide psychological advantage to the victor in the run-up to the 2024 General Elections.
The BJP has already wrested the Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats away from the SP and a win in Mainpuri and Rampur Sadar would give the party a boost as it aims to win all 80 parliamentary seats in politically significant Uttar Pradesh.
In Mainpuri, the focus will also be on the role of Pragatisheel Samaj Party chief and Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav.
He sided with the BJP in the presidential elections but the famous “chacha-bhatija" pair was seen together in the aftermath of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death, triggering speculation of a patch-up between the two.
The SP-RLD ties will be tested in Khatauli in western Uttar Pradesh. For the BJP, the prestige of new state unit chief Bhupendra Chaudhary will be at stake. A Jat, Chaudhary hails from the area where the RLD also has a good support base.
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