Kannauj Lok Sabha seat a lucky charm for outsider candidates
The Lok Sabha constituency of Kannauj, the perfume capital of India, has proved to be a lucky charm for outsiders contesting polls -- they became chief ministers of one state or the other.
Three of its MPs -- Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, the ‘bahu of Kannauj’ Sheila Dixit and SP president Akhilesh Yadav -- went on to take over as chief minister in different times.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sheila Dixit, both represented Kannauj once while Akhilesh won it three times in a row. He was still an MP when he was asked to become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2012.
His father Mulayam had contested the seat in 1999 and became CM for the last time in 2003. Before this term, Mulayam held the reins of the state twice.
In 1999, he quit the seat for his son Akhilesh while retaining Mainpuri.
Dixit, who completed three terms as chief minister of Delhi, had first contested the seat in 1984 but lost it in 1989. After this, she became an important face in Delhi politics which she dominated from 1998 to 2013.
Akhilesh became the first politician to have won the seat thrice in a row. When Akhilesh vacated the seat after taking over as chief minister in 2012, his wife Dimple Yadav was elected unopposed in the by-poll and retained the seat in 2014 elections by a slender margin.
The Samajwadi Party hasn’t lost this seat since 1998 and the family holds it for the last 20 years.
Both the Congress and the BJP have won it once each in 1984 and 1996 respectively.
“Kannauj is a high profile constituency since 1967 when Dr Ram Manohar Lohia contested from here and won the election,” said Khalilur Rahman, an industrialist from Kannauj.
“The MPs we elected became chief ministers at different stages of their political career. This makes the seat even more special,” he said.