Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Dimple Yadav takes over Mulayam’s legacy with thumping victory in Mainpuri bypoll

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Samajwadi Party candidate Dimple Yadav on Thursday won the Mainpuri parliamentary bypoll defeating her nearest rival Raghuraj Singh Shakya of BJP by a margin of 2,88,461 votes.

Considered SP’s bastion, the seat was held by party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and it got vacated after his death on October 10.

Accompanied by her husband and party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Dimple received her certificate from returning officer here.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam Singh Yadav won the Mainpuri seat by defeating BJP candidate Prem Singh Shakya with a margin of over 94,000 votes. The SP had contested the 2019 elections with the BSP. Dimple Yadav’s margin of victory is more than that of her father-in-law showcasing Mainpuri constituents’ faith in ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam) and the development work carried out by him.

BJP candidate Shakya even lost in his Daulpur booth by 187 votes. While Dimple Yadav secured 6,18,120 votes (64.08 per cent), Shakya received 3,29,659 votes (34.18 per cent). Taking a lesson from SP’s defeat in Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha bypolls in June this year in which the SP chief had not campaigned, Akhilesh Yadav stayed put in Mainpuri crisscrossing the constituency to mobilise support for his wife.

He moved out of Mainpuri only once during the campaign period to address a rally with Azam Khan in Rampur. In pursuance of its claim of winning all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP in the 2024 general elections, the BJP was eyeing to win the Mainpuri by-election to gain big momentum. The saffron party had fielded Raghuraj Shakya, once considered close to Shivpal Yadav, hoping the PSPL chief’s backing in view of his distance with Akhilesh Yadav.

But, Shivpal Yadav’s reunion with the SP chief and his campaigning for Dimple Yadav poured cold water on the ruling party’s game plan. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his election meeting had made a scathing attack on Shivpal Yadav, likening him to a pendulum and football. Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav had retorted to the attack.

Mulayam Singh Yadav still holds the record for winning the election from the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat by the maximum number of votes. In the 2014 elections, the SP founder defeated his nearest rival Shatrughan Singh Chauhan of the BJP by a margin of 3,64,666 votes. Before this, Mulayam Singh had won the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 by more than 3 lakh votes when he defeated his nearest rival Ashok Shakya of the BJP.

In 2014, Mulayam Singh had won the Lok Sabha elections from both Mainpuri and Azamgarh seats. He later vacated the Mainpuri seat, which was won by his grandson Tej Pratap Singh Yadav by more than three lakh votes in the by-election. The Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat comprises Karhal and Jaswantnagar assembly seats represented by Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav, respectively.

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