Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said he would like to contest 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj constituency. Speaking to media persons in Lucknow’s Janeshwar Mishra park, Akhilesh said his father Mulayam Singh Yadav will contest from Mainpuri. Akhilesh Yadav’s announcement makes Samajwadi Party first to announce candidature for the elections scheduled to be held next year. The three other dominant parties – Bhartiya Janata Party, Bahujanjan Samaj Party, and the Congress – have made no announcements for the high decibel polls yet. This is also an indication towards Yadav’s advance preparations for polls after witnessing a nightmare during Assembly Elections 2017.
Here are 5 things to know about the elections :
– Akhilesh Yadav has said ‘netaji’ Mulayam Singh Yadav will contest the polls from Mainpuri. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the 78-year-old leader had contested from Azamgarh and Mainpuri and won on both seats. He decided to retain Azamgarh to strengthen the party in eastern Uttar Pradesh and vacated Mainpuri. Later, Mainpuri was won in a by-poll by his grandson, Tej Pratap Yadav.
– According to some SP insiders, Akhilesh’s decision to contest the next general elections from Kannauj was aimed at quelling allegations of promoting “dynasty” in the party. However, Kannauj poses crucial test for the SP in the present scenario as in last year’s assembly election. The party had lost two of the three seats in the Lok Sabha constituency to the BJP while it won the Kannauj city seat by meagre 2,000 votes during assembly polls last year. Later, to make things worse, SP lost all the three Nagar Palika chairman seats and all five nagar panchayat chairman seats in Kannauj in the recent civic polls.
– Currently, Akhilesh’s wife, Dimple Yadav is the sitting MP from Kannauj. In 2014, she had beaten the BJP candidate by just 20,000 votes. On the other hand, Akhilesh has represented Kannauj thrice in the Lok Sabha before relinquishing the seat after becoming chief minister in 2012.
– The Samajwadi Party currently holds four Lok Sabha seats – all held by Yadav family members. Both Mainpuri and Kannauj are considered to be traditional SP seats. The other two seats are Firozabad – held by Akshay Yadav, son of Ram Gopal Yadav and Azamgarh – held by Mulayam Singh Yadav.
– Last time, the party had decided to contest the polls in alliance with Congress. Lately, there have been speculations that BSP and SP – cult rivals in state politics might come together to fight the challenge posed by BJP in the state.