The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named former MP Raghuraj Singh Shakya as its candidate for the Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll which was necessitated following the death of Samajwadi Party (SP) founder and patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Singh is pitted against SP candidate Dimple Yadav, who is the daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Shakya joined the saffron party earlier this year, after quitting the Shivpal Yadav-led Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party. The former MP from Etawah was earlier with the Samajwadi Party and joined hands with Shivpal Yadav who formed his own party following his fallout with Akhilesh.
Mainpuri has long been a pocket borough of the Yadav family. However, the BJP successfully breached the SP’s citadels of Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats recently and is hoping to do the same in Mainpuri. Meanwhile, divisions in the Yadav clan due to Shivpal Yadav’s fallout with SP president and his nephew Akhilesh Yadav have given some hope to the BJP, as Shivpal wields some influence in Mainpuri.
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The Election Commission said that the by-election will be held on December 5, along with bypolls to five Assembly seats – Padampur (Odisha), Sardarshahar (Rajasthan), Kurhani (Bihar), Bhanupratappur (Chhattisgarh), and Rampur (Uttar Pradesh).
The bypolls will coincide with phase two of the Gujarat Assembly elections when voting will be held in 93 Assembly constituencies in the 182-member House.
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Counting of bypolls will be held on December 8, the same day as the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.