With barely a week left for the second phase of polling, Opposition parties are yet to identify any major election issue with which to take on Akhilesh Yadav, son of chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
While the SP itself is talking of development, his rivals are telling voters that
besides being a novice in politics, Akhilesh may not be able to spare time to take care of their day-to-day problems.
On Wednesday, senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra probably became the first major Opposition leader to address an election meeting in the constituency.
Yet, instead of focussing his campaign against Akhilesh or the SP-led government, Mishra only made a passing reference to what he called the deteriorating law and order situation during the tenure of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Since no other issue has clicked in the constituency, Mishra also attempted to use the caste card to tilt the scale in favour of BJP candidate Ramanand Yadav.
"People may say if we have to vote for a Yadav, why should it not be Akhilesh," said Mishra adding, "If it is a question of caste, then who is a bigger Brahmin than Kalraj and Vajpayee? Or who is a bigger Thakur than Rajnath? Or who is a bigger Kurmi than Katiyar or who is a bigger backward than Kalyan?"
At the same time, he insisted that the BJP did not believe in caste politics and was trying to take all sections of society together.
Akhilesh, on his part, is leaving no stone unturned in his attempt to repeat his 2000 bypoll performance. He won the seat in 2000, taking a lead in all assembly segments of this constituency.
In the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam won the seat with a margin of 79,139 votes, defeating his nearest rival Arvind Pratap Singh of the National Loktantrik Congress.
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