BSP leader Shah Alam joins SP - Hindustan Times

BSP leader Shah Alam joins SP

Feb 28, 2024 10:25 PM IST

The SP suffered a major jolt when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypoll in 2022.

Lucknow: In a bid to fortify its position in Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat before the general elections, the Samajwadi Party opened the door to the BSP leader and former MLA Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali. Jamali joined the SP in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday.

Guddu Jamali joins Samajwadi Party in the presence of Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow (Mushtaq Ali/HT)
Guddu Jamali joins Samajwadi Party in the presence of Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow (Mushtaq Ali/HT)

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is most likely to contest from Azamgarh in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, aiming to replicate his significant victory margin of 2.59 lakh votes from the previous election.

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Azamgarh is widely regarded as a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party (SP). In the 2022 assembly elections, the SP secured victories in all 10 assembly seats in the district. Despite facing strong BJP waves in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the SP managed to win the seat. However, the SP suffered a major jolt when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypoll in 2022.

In the Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypoll, BJP candidate Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ emerged victorious, defeating nearest rival Dharmendra Yadav of the SP by over 8,000 votes. Nirahua secured 3,12,768 votes, while Dharmendra Yadav received 3,04,089 votes. Guddu Jamali, contesting on the BSP ticket, garnered 2,66,210 votes. Jamali’s presence in the fray divided the Muslim and OBC votes in the district, contributing to the BJP candidate’s victory.

In 2014 poll as well, Jamali secured over 2.66 lakh votes from Azamgarh to finish at third place, while SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav won the seat securing 3.40 lakh votes.

When the BSP announced its decision to field Jamali in the 2022 bypoll, BSP chief Mayawati projected him as the ‘oxygen man’ who had safeguarded the lives of people regardless of caste or religion during the Covid-19 pandemic in Azamgarh. “Shah Alam had been instrumental in assisting people, transcending local and party politics and his credibility and popularity surpassed that of his opponents,” she said.

SP national general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav, state unit president Naresh Uttam Patel, all ten MLAs, and senior party leaders were present at the state unit office with supporters when Akhilesh Yadav welcomed Jamali into the SP fold.

“Today, I congratulate Shah Alam Guddu and his supporters... Like the ‘Samudra Manthan’, this time there will be ‘Samvidhan Manthan’ in the elections. We are pleased that our PDA family is expanding, and we will work together to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha election,” Akhilesh said.

“BJP is concerned about the growing influence of PDA. As the socialist coalition expands its PDA family, it becomes increasingly poised to defeat the BJP in the 2024 elections. BJP is luring the MLAs with packages and other incentives. The BJP should form a separate group for the leaders of other parties joining it without any ideology,” he added.

Akhilesh criticised the BJP for its false promises, highlighting ongoing issues like inflation and unemployment. He pointed out that pledges made to farmers, youth, and the poor by the BJP government remained unfulfilled.

Meanwhile, Jamali said, there were two options before us. “There is a party which wants to divide and break the country and the other party which wants to unite and strengthen the country,” he said.

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    Rajesh Kumar Singh is Assistant Editor, Hindustan Times at the political bureau in Lucknow. Along with covering politics, he covers government departments. He also travels to write human interest and investigative stories.

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