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SP in a tight spot over LS bypolls in UP

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Lucknow, June 5 (Ajit Weekly News) The bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh — Azamgarh and Rampur — have put the Samajwadi Party in a tight spot.

Both, Azamgarh and Rampur, had been won by Samajwadi Party in 2019. While Akhilesh Yadav won Azamgarh, Mohd Azam Khan won Rampur.

Both the leaders resigned from their parliamentary seats after winning the Assembly elections in March this year.

In the upcoming by-elections, the BJP and BSP seem to have joined hands to make the SP bite dust in Azamgarh, which has a sizeable Muslim and Yadav population and is known as an SP stronghold.

The BSP has fielded Shah Alam, a.k.a. Guddu Jamali from Azamgarh with an eye on Muslim-Dalit votes.

Jamali is a popular Muslim leader in the constituency and if he gets support from his community as well as Dalits, he could upset the SP applecart.

The BJP, by fielding popular Bhojpuri star Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua from Azamgarh, clearly has an eye on Yadav votes.

Nirahua has already launched a high-octane campaign and if BJP sources are to be believed, two other Bhojpuri stars and MPs, Manoj Tiwari and Ravi Kishan, will also be campaigning for Nirahua.

Nirahua’s campaign focuses on the fact that Akhilesh Yadav has ‘abandoned’ the people of Azamgarh and Akhilesh’s inaccessibility is being used to make inroads in the Yadav vote bank.

With Nirahua and Guddu Jamali in the fray, the Samajwadi Party is still undecided about its candidate.

Party course confirmed that Dimple Yadav will not seek election from her husband Akhilesh Yadav’s seat.

“In the present scenario, Azamgarh is not a ‘safe’ seat and the party would not like to expose Dimple Yadav to the possibility of a defeat,” said a party functionary.

There are also talks of SP MLA Ramakant Yadav contesting the Lok Sabha by-election, but Yadav has not yet confirmed this.

In Rampur, the BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Lodhi, a former acolyte of Mohd Azam Khan.

The Bahujan Samaj Party has already decided not to field its candidate from Rampur for reasons not disclosed.

According to political analysts, the Samajwadi Party fears that losing Azamgarh and Rampur — or even one of them — would send out a message that Muslims are deserting the party and this would cast a shadow on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Contrary to the belief, Mohd Azam Khan’s wife Tanzeen Fatima is unlikely to contest the by-elections since she has not yet purchased the nomination form and nominations close on Monday.

The party’s concerns were manifested when a few Muslim leaders showed anger towards Akhilesh for not raising voice against atrocities of the Yogi government against Azam Khan and Akhilesh’s estranged uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav warmed up to Azam.

The Congress, sources said, will not be contesting the by-elections.

–Ajit Weekly News

amita/dpb

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