Akhilesh Yadav To Fight His 1st UP Polls From Family Stronghold Of Karhal

Akhilesh Yadav To Fight His 1st UP Polls From Family Stronghold Of Karhal

Lucknow:

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will contest next month’s Assembly election – his first – from the Karhal seat in Mainpuri district, which is in his family’s home turf.

Karhal has voted for a Samajwadi Party candidate in every election since 1993, except in 2002, when the BJP flipped it. It returned to Mr Yadav’s party in 2007 and is currently held by Sobaran Yadav.

It is also one of five Assembly seats that make up the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, which elected Mr Yadav’s father, and Samajwadi Party founder, Mulayam Singh Yadav to the Lok Sabha five times.

Samajwadi leader Ram Gopal Yadav declared Akhilesh Yadav would win with “record” votes.

Confirmation that Akhilesh Yadav – who is leading a ‘rainbow’ alliance of regional parties to oust the ruling BJP – will stand in his first state election follows weeks of speculation that he might do so.

In November, he said he would not contest the election. His party, however, had other ideas and rushed to clarify that a final decision would be taken by the collective.

A month later he told NDTV: “If the party wants, I will contest the election. I had said earlier too that if the party decides, I will contest the election in 2022.”

Mr Yadav is currently a Lok Sabha MP from UP’s Azamgarh and this week said he needed to ask his constituents’ for “permission” to give up the seat if he wins this election.

He told NDTV last month that he expects a “pincer” movement – of angry farmers in the western part of UP and allied regional parties in the east – to oust the ruling party.

Akhilesh Yadav isn’t the only high-profile debutant in this election – Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, will contest from one of the seats in that constituency.

Both Mr Yadav and Adityanath will make their state polls bow from strongholds.

The prospect of a third equally high-profile debut made the rounds yesterday after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she is undecided on standing for election. That was after one of her comments was widely interpreted as being her party’s Chief Minister candidate.

However, Ms Gandhi Vadra later clarified to NDTV that her comment about being the Chief Minister candidate was a “tongue-in-cheek” remark and that she didn’t yet know if she will be contesting polls.

UP votes in a seven-phase poll that begins February 10, with results due exactly one month later.

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