New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is all set to contest from two seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in a bid to counter Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Apart from his traditional Mainpuri seat in western UP, Mulayam Singh will also be contesting from Azamgarh as the region has a sizeable Muslim and Yadav population.
"Due to demand of party leaders and workers, SP supremo will contest from both Azamgarh and Mainpuri seats," party's national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav said in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Samajwadi Party feels that pitting the party supreme in Azamgarh would boost the party's poll prospects in eastern Uttar Pradesh as it will help the party get a major share of the Muslim votes.
Mulayam's decision to contest from two seats in this election is also seen as an attempt to counter the 'Modi wave' in Uttar Pradesh.
The Samajwadi Party had earlier declared Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Balram Yadav as the party's candidate from Azamgarh.
Speculations were rife regarding Mulayam's candidature from the Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency, but senior party leader Shivpal Yadav had earlier denied it saying that there
was no such proposal.
In the 2009 elections, Mulayam won the Mainpuri seat by a margin of over 1.6 lakh votes. And BJP's Ramakant Yadav won the Azamgarh constituency by nearly 50,000 votes. SP candidate Durga Prasad Yadav came third in the constituency behind BSP's Akbar Ahmad Dampi.
(With additional inputs from PTI)