Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav likely to make UP Assembly poll debut from stronghold Karhal
In his tenure as UP CM, Akhilesh had chosen the route of UP Legislative Council to enter state legislature as at that time he was an MP from Kannauj and had resigned to take over as CM in 2012.
LUCKNOW: The stage seems all set for an interesting and intense battle for Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh as Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in all probability, is likely to contest the upcoming assembly elections from his clan’s stronghold constituency -- Karhal -- in Mainpuri district.
Karhal, from where the SP chief seeks to make his electoral debut, happens to be just five km away from his native village Saifai. It is believed to be a safe seat for Yadav scion as his father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is MP from Mainpuri which has the dominant Yadav population.
While there has been no official confirmation from Akhilesh’s side as yet, the party’s senior leader and national spokesman Rajendra Chaudhury, however, confirmed it to the media persons here on Thursday.
Notably, the pressure of joining the electoral battle had increased on SP chief after the BJP had announced the candidature of UP CM Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban seat and Deputy CM Keshav Maurya from Sirathu in Prayagraj in the first list released on Saturday.
Even Akhilesh, on Wednesday, had dropped hints of contesting from his bastion by saying that he would contest the polls before the UP CM Yogi Adityanath. Karhal will go to polls in the third phase on February 20 and Yogi’s constituency will vote in sixth phase on March 3.
Initially, speculations were rife about other potential seats including Gopalpur in Azamgarh, Gunnaur in Badaun, Chhibramau in Kannauj and Manipuri Sadar— for Akhilesh to enter the fray.
Currently, the SP chief is representing Azamgarh in Lok Sabha. While making his intentions to contest the assembly elections public on Wednesday, Akhilesh had said that he would contest from any seat decided by the party but before that he would seek approval of the people of Azamgarh from where is an MP.
In his tenure as UP CM, Akhilesh had chosen the route of UP Legislative Council to enter state legislature as at that time he was an MP from Kannauj and had resigned to take over as chief minister in 2012.
Karhal is known to be a Yadav bastion as the Samajwadi Party has been retaining the seat since 1993. The sitting SP MLA Sobaran Singh has been representing the seat in UP assembly for three consecutive terms since 2007.
In the 2002 election, the seat went to BJP’s Sovran Singh who had defeated SP’s Anil Kumar Yadav by less than 1000 votes.
Previously, Karhal was represented by Babu Ram Yadav since 1985, who later joined the Samajwadi Party.
However, the development came as a welcome move in the Samajwadi Party camp on a day when another relative of Mulayam Singh Yadav and former SP lawmaker, Pramod Gupta, walked into the saffron fold. It was another jolt to the party in the battle of perception after Mulayam’s younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the BJP on Wednesday.