Akhilesh Yadav to contest from Kannauj seat, to file nomination tomorrow - Hindustan Times
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Akhilesh Yadav to contest from Kannauj seat, to file nomination tomorrow

ByHaider Naqvi
Apr 24, 2024 11:12 PM IST

“National president Akhilesh Yadav will file his nomination papers from the Kannauj seat at 12 noon as Samajwadi Party candidate,” the SP’s post said.

Kannauj/Etawah: What could be seen as a changed strategy for the Samajwadi Party’s stronghold Kannauj, a seat it has lost only once since 1998, party chief Akhilesh Yadav will file his nomination from the seat two days after declaring the candidacy of Tej Pratap Yadav.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (HT file)
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (HT file)

In response to a media query in Takha, Jaswant Nagar, where he held a public meeting in support of his wife, Dimple Yadav, the SP chief said, “You will get to know who is filing the nomination tomorrow; it is possible it gets clear even before the nominations are filed.” He said that the issue was about a historic win, and people had set their minds on ensuring a historic win from Kannauj.

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However, later in the evening, a post on the Samajwadi Party’s X handle confirmed that Akhilesh will be contesting from Kannauj.

“National president Akhilesh Yadav will file his nomination papers from the Kannauj seat at 12 noon as Samajwadi Party candidate,” the SP’s post said

Meanwhile, in Kannauj, seven sets of nomination papers were taken by Samajwadi Party leaders. Three sets were taken on Tuesday by Yash Dohrey, Shakeel Ahmed, and Bauan Tiwari, while four were taken on Wednesday. None of them was taken in the name of the party’s official nominee, Tej Pratap Yadav.

The political suspense in Kannauj intensified following the announcement of Tej Pratap’s candidature, who is Akhilesh’s nephew and the son-in-law of RLD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Till Wednesday noon, uncertainty loomed over his candidacy and adding to the intrigue, party leaders confirmed that a challan of 25,000 was deposited in the treasury under the name of Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday, attached with the nomination papers.

Party leaders said that the campaign narrative since the 2022 assembly elections had consistently hinted at Akhilesh Yadav’s candidacy and Tej Pratap’s name did not go down well with party workers, although others viewed it as part of a well-thought-out strategy.

They said that Akhilesh Yadav visited Kannauj twice this month and dropped clear hints about his own candidature. The workers had already made up their minds in his favour. However, the announcement of Tej Pratap’s name dampened their enthusiasm. Many leaders even travelled to Lucknow to convey their sentiments where the leadership gave them the assurances, they said.

The district SP president, Kaleem Khan said that the sentiments of party workers had been conveyed to the national leadership, leaving the final decision in their hands. Nevertheless, party members pledge to abide by the leadership’s decision and ensure the party’s success in the region.

Observers within the SP believe that the naming of Tej Pratap Yadav was a strategic move to gauge the sentiments of party workers and the general public. Across all reports, Akhilesh Yadav is favoured over Tej Pratap Yadav. Given this, any possibility of opposition or factionalism against Tej Pratap Yadav seems negligible.

The controversy surrounding the potential change in candidates from Kannauj persisted on Wednesday with a viral letter purportedly nominating Akhilesh Yadav from the constituency. Despite continuous denials from party insiders, the letter remained a topic of discussion.

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