To keep its cycle of change moving, the Samajwadi Party has named Mahendra Chauhan, son of a bicycle mechanic as its candidate from Zahoorabad assembly constituency in Ghazipur.
Rambachan Chauhan was busy fixing a puncture at his shop on Kasimabad road in Zahoorabad on Monday evening when he came to know about the development.
Initially, he could not believe his ears and when he became sure that SP had indeed nominated his son for the assembly election, he informed his wife Girija Devi and other members of the family.
“The news came as a pleasant surprise to me. My son is the party’s candidate from Zahoorabad which is presently represented by former minister Shadab Fatima,” Chauhan said.
Unlike his father, Mahendra, a graduate in humanities, was calm and composed. “I am thankful to Akhilesh Bhaiyya and professor saheb (Ramgopal Yadav) who have given me the opportunity to contest the assembly polls from Zahoorabad. I will try to serve the people of the area and the party to my best.”
Mahendra has been associated with the Samajwadi Party since 1995 after it fielded Shivpujan Chauhan as its candidate from Zahoorabad. At that time, Mahendra was a student of class 12. Though Chauhan lost the election, Mahendra turned a full time worker.
“I was attracted to SP in 1995 after Mulayam Singh Yadav gave ticket to a member of my community. It was a great honour for our community,” Mahendra said.
In 1997, Mahendra contested students’ union election for the post of general secretary at DCSK PG College. He lost the election and returned to his village to serve the party and the people.
In 2000, Mahendra’s wife Manju Chauhan successfully contested the election for the post of member, district panchayat.
In 2002, Mahendra applied for assembly ticket form Zahoorabad from SP and also called on Ramgopal when the meeting of SP parliamentary board was being held at the party’s office in Lucknow.
Mahendra said Ramgopal told him he was too young to contest the election and assured him the party would field him in 2007.
The party fielded Dr Sanand Singh who lost the polls. In 2012, Ramkaran Dada, known as Gandhi of Purvanchal, requested Mulayam Singh Yadav to field him from Zahoorabad to which the SP patriarch responded positively. Mahendra could not get the ticket due to political equations.
Mahendra, who is an office-bearer in state unit of SP’s OBC wing, lives with his children and wife in Varanasi. He said the people of his constituency would contest the election and he was not worried about the means required for election.
District president Rajesh Kushwaha, a party candidate from Jangipur assembly constituency, said, “Mahendra is a dedicated SP worker. He has been announced the party candidate keeping in view the political equation in the region. It will definitely help the party.”