Samajwadi Party’s Tej Pratap Singh Yadav winning Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri parliamentary seat means that for the first time three generations of a political family will be sitting together in the Lok Sabha.
Tej polled 653,000 votes, the most ever for a candidate from the constituency, and beat his nearest rival, BJP’s Prem Singh Shakya, by 321,000 votes. The record for the biggest victory margin of 332,000 votes, though, remains with his grand-uncle Mulayam Singh Yadav. While SP chief Mulayam is already in the Lok Sabha from Azamgarh, the next generation of the dynasty is represented in the lower House by his nephew Dharmendra Yadav and daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav.
Since 1991, even before the Samajwadi Party’s inception, the Mainpuri seat has been won either by Mulayam or his nominees. The voters here are unfazed by political waves, analysts say. Despite the Ram Temple movement in 1991, Mulayam’s pick Uday Pratap Singh Yadav won on a Janata Party ticket.
Twenty-three years later, the so-called Modi wave could not upset Mulayam’s applecart in Mainpuri and he won the seat by 364,000 votes in the 2014 general election.
The SP chief made his maiden entry into the Lok Sabha in 1996 from this constituency and won it five times.
Mulayam was mentoring Tej for years, and it was clear that he would create space for his grandnephew in either Mainpuri or Azamgarh. Leaving nothing to chance, the SP chief made his brother and senior minister Shivpal Singh Yadav the in-charge of Tej’s election campaign.
The party’s national general secretaries and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, all canvassed for the 26-year-old Leeds University alumnus.