Kannauj switch on cards for SP, Akhilesh Yadav to enter poll fray | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Kannauj switch on cards for SP, Akhilesh Yadav to enter poll fray

By, Kannauj/etawah
Apr 25, 2024 04:49 AM IST

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to file nomination from Kannauj, amidst speculation over Tej Pratap Yadav's candidacy; party workers express preference for Akhilesh.

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav will file his nomination from the Kannauj seat on Thursday, the SP announced on Wednesday, days after declaring the candidacy of Tej Pratap Yadav from the party stronghold that it has lost only once since 1998.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav (Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)

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 big win, and people had set their minds on ensuring a historic win from Kannauj. Follow full coverage of the Lok Sabha elections here.

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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.

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The political suspense in Kannauj intensified following the announcement of Tej Pratap’s candidature, who is Akhilesh’s nephew and son-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

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.

SP 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 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, said the leaders cited above. Many leaders even travelled to Lucknow to convey this sentiment, where the top leadership gave them assurances, they said.

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

Political observers said the naming of Tej Pratap Yadav might have been a strategic move to gauge the sentiments of party workers and the general public.

While the BJP has fielded incumbent Subrat Pathak, who defeated Akhilesh’s wife Dimple Yadav in 2019, from the seat, the Bahujan Samaj Party has named Imran bin Zafar, a businessman from Kanpur.

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    Haidar Naqvi covers central UP and Bundelkhand. He closely tracks developments in internal security in the region and beyond.

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