UP election: Akhilesh Yadav namesake, a SP candidate, rides on CM’s popularity | assembly-elections$uttarpradesh-2017 | Hindustan Times
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UP election: Akhilesh Yadav namesake, a SP candidate, rides on CM’s popularity

Akhilesh Yadav, a namesake of Uttar Pradesh chief minister, is a Samajwadi Party candidate from Mubarakpur constituency in Azamgarh district.

assembly elections Updated: Mar 01, 2017 08:37 IST
Faizan Haidar
Akhilesh Yadav (in the foreground in poster), who shares his name with UP chief minister, is the Samajwadi Party candidate from Mubarakpur constituency in Azamgarh district.
Akhilesh Yadav (in the foreground in poster), who shares his name with UP chief minister, is the Samajwadi Party candidate from Mubarakpur constituency in Azamgarh district. (HT Photo )

Dressed in white kurta pyjama, Akhilesh Yadav wakes up early to hit the campaign trail. As he reaches villages, the people start shouting slogans ‘Akhilesh bhaiya zindabad’ and he responds with a smile.

Before you confuse him with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, meet his namesake from Mubarakpur assembly constituency in Azamgarh district of UP. Contesting for SP, this Akhilesh Yadav, often has to explain that he is not the chief minister.

“Of course, people often get confused but being a local, majority of the voters know me. I am honoured that I share my name with the chief minister and in a way, the CM is contesting election from here. His name will not only benefit me but the state,” said Yadav, who is contesting the election for the second time.

Mubarak constituency is part of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s parliamentary constituency.

Of the little over three lakh voters in the constituency, Muslims and Yadavs dominate the area with 80,000 voters each. Yadav, who contested the election for the first time in 2012, lost to the Bahujan Samaj Party.

“But this time we will win as we have the support of the Congress. In 2012, a Samajwadi Party worker contested for BJP, after being denied a ticket. This led to a division of votes,” said Aoun Hashmi, who had come to Mubarakpur to meet his relatives and was one of the few persons who initially thought chief minister is contesting from the constituency.

Yadav’s main opponent is Shah Alam from BSP, who is the sitting MLA.

“He is the only Muslim candidate of the constituency which will work in his favour. There are 72,000 Dalit votes in the constituency, which BSP is confident of getting. Then there is another Yadav candidate from Peace party. All this will lead to BSP’s victory,” said a party member. However, according to Yadav, Muslims are always with SP and since Alam is an outsider, he is confident of winning the seat by a comfortable margin.

The area is going to poll on March 4 and during his campaign, Yadav’s campaign managers always tell voters to vote for ‘Akhilesh Yadav’.