People in Yadav-dominated Mainpuri district — always a Samajwadi Party (SP) stronghold — are hoping round-the-clock electricity supply will resume if the SP is voted to power.
Mainpuri is SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Lok Sabha seat also and the party is so confident of doing well here that he has not come to address an election rally yet.
Apart from caste combinations, what is favouring the SP is people’s discontent over poor power supply in the district.
“Possible uninterrupted power supply is the main charm that will propel people to vote for the SP,” said Arvind Yadav, principal, Mukhiya Ram Dayal Inter College. But for many other voters, it is also a question of giving due respect to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s seniority. “We want to honour the (seniority) of Netaji,” said Abdul Rauf, a grocery-shop owner in Madhan village.
However, the SP can hardly afford to be complacent. One of its biggest hindrances, apart from the apparent revival of the Congress in the district, is the party’s reputation of patronising criminals. “It is a fact that criminal elements had a free hand in harassing the weak during the SP regime,” said Rauf, adding, “we are giving the last chance to the party”.
On the last two occasions, the BJP won the Mainpuri seat. But this time six Thakur-dominated villages that are said to be BJP bastions are no longer part of the Mainpuri seat because of the delimitation.
The BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj is giving a tough fight to the SP’s two-time MLA Alok Shakya in the Lodh dominated Bhogao seat, though the Kalyan Singh-led Jan Kranti Party’s Abhilash Singh Rajput is making a dent in Lodh votes.
The Kisni seat is witnessing a keen contest. Sandhya Katheriya, who won on the SP ticket for the last two terms, is now the BSP candidate. The Karhal constituency has the highest concentration of Yadav voters. Except the BSP all other major parties have fielded Yadav candidates from this seat.