After the BJP’s superlative performance in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, winning 71 of the state’s 80 seats, the party now fancies its chances even in Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s pocket borough of Mainpuri, which the Sangh Parivar reckons Yadav will vacate to retain the Muslim-dominated Azamgarh seat.
The BJP has already begun mobilising its cadres in Mainpuri where the SP chief won by a handsome margin of more than 3 lakh votes despite the saffron surge in most other parts of UP.
“The big mobilisation will begin after the by-poll is announced,” a BJP source said. Mulayam is widely expected to retain Azamgarh, a seat he won by just 60,000 votes against the BJP’s Ramakant Yadav.
The SP chief had contested from Azamgarh in a bid to stop Narendra Modi from making gains in east UP after the BJP fielded its PM candidate from Varanasi in addition to Vadodara in Gujarat.
After the results, with the SP having been reduced to a ‘clan’ – only Yadav and four of his family members won this time – the BJP now sees a real possibility in either of the seats that Yadav vacates.
“Though we have got a clear majority on our own in the Lok Sabha but with the 2017 UP assembly polls in mind we won’t let our guard down. You will see the saffron cadres going all out for a win from whichever seat Yadav vacates,” state BJP spokesperson Chandramohan said on Friday.
The BJP estimates that one of the reasons for Mulayam’s win in Mainpuri was the high concentration of Yadav votes that went to him.
The saffron brigade has already told Ramakant Yadav to be ready for a by-poll from whichever seat Yadav vacates. The BJP think tank feels that while the chances of Ramakant winning Azamgarh are high, he is tipped to do well even in Yadav-dominated Mainpuri.