Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Shivpal may upset SP, BJP’s calculations on select seats
The selection of candidates by Shivpal Yadav’s fledgling Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L) for the Kanpur, Akbarpur (Kanpur Dehat) and Mishrikh Lok Sabha seats shows the former UP minister’s intent of denting the Samajwadi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vote banks, political experts say.
Shivpal Yadav, who fell out with his nephew and then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav before the 2017 UP assembly elections, broke away from the SP last year and charted his own political course.
In Akbarpur, the PSPL has reposed faith in Captain Inderpal Singh, brother of sitting BJP MLA from Secundara Ajit Pal and son of Mathura Pal, who passed away in July 2017. Mathura Pal started his career with the Janata Dal and ended up in the BJP after a fairly longish stint in the BSP.
The move startled the BJP and SP alike. Inderpal was active in politics with his father, said Hanuman Gupta, a poll analyst in Akbarpur. After Mathura Pal’s death, he was tipped to succeed him but the BJP chose his brother who won the by election. “Mathura Pal was a crucial leader for the BSP and the BJP in this belt. Since the seat is in the BSP quota (for SP-BSP-RLD alliance) the PSP’s choice of Inderpal has made the battle interesting,” he said.
Shivpal also sprung a surprise in Misrikh Lok Sabha seat in Sitapur by fielding former SP minister Aruna Kori, who belongs to a family of Mulayam Singh Yadav loyalists. Her father-in-law Buddh Chand was a personal friend of the SP patriarch.
The Bilhaur assembly segment of Kanpur district is also part of Misrikh.
She had won the Bilhaur seat in 2012 assembly elections before she was moved to Rasoolabad in 2017. “Her candidature will be worrying for the alliance in Bilhaur and adjoining areas due to her influence in the region where both the BSP and the SP have traditionally been strong,” said Shamim Khan of Bilhaur.
Rajeev Mishra, founding president of Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade, would be the PSPL candidate in the Brahmin- dominated Kanpur. Mishra, who built a business in Mumbai, was active in Maharashtra where he fought against the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) over the treatment of North Indians. The PSP has brought him to contest on the seat, which has gone to the SP in the alliance.
The PSPL announced 31 candidates after hopes of joining hands with the Congress were dashed.
The party, which claims to have roped in 64 smaller parties, has fielded six Muslims in west UP, including Saharanpur, Meerut and Amroha, to disturb the alliance equations on the ground.