UP election: Dimple Yadav’s charm reigns supreme in Agra village
Despite the presence of Bollywood actors, it was the charm of ‘Akhilesh ki gharwali’ or chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav that brought women in hordes to Ramlila Ground at Jaitpur Kalan in Agra on Wednesday.Updated: Feb 08, 2017, 17:19 IST
Despite the presence of Bollywood actors, it was the charm of ‘Akhilesh ki gharwali’ or chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav that brought women in hordes to Ramlila Ground at Jaitpur Kalan in Agra on Wednesday.
The election meeting was organised on a short notice and the arrival of Dimple Yadav and actors Jaya Bachchan and Vidya Balan was finalised on Tuesday evening. Balan, however, could not attend the meeting.
Supporters started arriving from 11am to hear Dimple, who launched her campaign from the rural seat of Bah, speaking at the rally. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Anshu Rani Nishad, who was recently called ‘Garibon ki Rani’ or Queen of the poor by CM Akhilesh Yadav, from the assembly constituency.
Dimple, second-term MP from Kannauj, is scheduled to address two other public meetings in Agra district in support of two other women candidates of the party in Agra Cantonment and Etmadpur as well. The region will go to polls in the first of the seven-phased elections on February 11. The votes will be counted on March 11.
The ruling party in Uttar Pradesh - India’s most populous state with 200 million people - has given 12% of seats to women candidates in the assembly elections.
Rani Pakshalika Singh from Bhadawar royal family is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate while former MLA Madhusudan Sharma is the Bahujan Samaj Party nominee from Bah.
Sheela Devi from Kyari village, who came to Jaitpur to buy her medicines, came to know that the ‘gharwali’ (wife) of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was arriving. She rushed to Ramlila Ground to get a place in the front rows so that she can see her closely.
“Bako aadmi achho kam kar raho hai (her husband is doing a good job),” another supporter Guddi Yadav said.
A group of two dozen girls, which had come on a tractor from Udhanpura village, said Dimple should play an active role in politics and become a minister and look after girls’ education.
In her forties, Maya Devi was not aware of the SP candidate and said she would vote for the person whom Dimple would ask for. Another supporter, Roshni Yadav, believed Dimple was arriving with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi but was disappointed when she came to know that Priyanka would not attend the public meeting.
The SP has formed an alliance with Congress and will contest 298 seats of the 403 assembly seats and the grand old party the remaining 105. CM Akhilesh Yadav, who emerged as the undisputed leader of the SP after months of a bruising family battle, would lead the alliance into the polls.
Priyanka is said to have played a crucial role in stitching the alliance.
Others like Poonam Rathore stood on the roofs of the houses adjoining the Ramlila Ground. “I have seen Dimple Yadav on TV and want to see how she looks in real,” Poonam, who asked her mother to allow her to go to the ground, said.
“We now have better connectivity than in the past and feel safe in moving around,” Poonam, an undergraduate student, said.