In yet another example of growing bonhomie between the two parties, the Congress has decided not to field any candidate against chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav, the Samajwadi Party candidate in the Kannauj Lok Sabha byelection.
Dimple will file her nomination papers for the seat on Tuesday. The Bharatiya Janata Party has also not decided on its candidate for the seat. State unit president Laxmi Kant Bajpayee said a decision might be taken on Tuesday. The byelection will be held on June 24.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi confirmed her party had decided not to field a candidate for the by-election.
The by-election has been necessitated following the resignation of the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav after his election to the Vidhan Parishad.
Explaining the Congress move, Joshi said, “The party did not field a candidate from Kannauj in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. So, we are not fielding our nominee in the byelection too.”
The Congress’ decision this time around is in sharp contrast to the 2009 by-election to the Firozabad Lok Sabha seat for which the party had fielded cine star Raj Babbar against Dimple.
Babbar won the by-poll after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi campaigned against Dimple during her maiden entry into the political fray. Babbar’s victory in the bypoll had led to a strained relationship between the Congress and the SP. This was especially so as the SP had usually not fielded its nominee against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Amethi respectively.
Kannauj is considered a safer seat for the Yadav 'bahu', as it has been thrice represented by Akhilesh Yadav, and also because the party fared exceedingly well in the state assembly election in March.
According to party sources, Dimple will address a political rally at Kannauj and might have the company of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav on Tuesday.