The Samajwadi Party family is contesting five seats in the state, with party chief Akhilesh Yadav replacing party patriarch and father Mulayam Singh Yadav from Azamgarh seat, Mulayam himself from Mainpuri, Akhilesh’s wife Dimple from Kannauj and his cousins Dharmendra and Akshay from Badaun and Firozabad, respectively.
While Shivpal Yadav, who formed new party Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP), separating himself from Samajwadi Party has said that that he is not fielding any candidate against nephew Akhilesh and daughter-in-law Dimple, the family has always been a matter of gossip especially at the time of elections.
It is clear from the Samajwadi Party family that they are hoping for big win in the elections and have placed their candidates accordingly. It is to be noted that SP is contesting election in an alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samajwadi Party and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
In Kannauj, two-time MP from the constituency Dimple has again been fielded from the seat. With the BSP becoming its alliance partner and Congress not fielding candidates where the Yadav family members are contesting, the SP’s only rival is BJP as SP rebel and Akhilesh’s uncle, Shivpal Yadav, recently withdrew his party, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party’s (PSP) candidate against “pariwar ki bahu” Dimple.
In 2014, Dimple had won the seat by a narrow margin of 19,907 votes against the the BJP’s Subrat Pathak. The BJP candidate is the only competition for Dimple after PSP candidate Sunil Kumar Singh Rathore decided not to file his nomination at the last moment.
Pathak had also contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and had stood third behind Dimple and BSP candidate Mahesh Chandra Verma, who lost the poll by 1.15 lakh votes to Dimple. The seat has been with the SP since 1999 after Mulayam won it. After that, Akhilesh won the seat thrice – 2000, 2004, and 2009. He vacated the seat in 2012 and Dimple contested the bypoll and won the seat. The seat is likely to see a two-way contest between Dimple and Pathak and considering the fact that Pathak lost by a very narrow margin in 2014, it would be a tough task for SP to retain the seat.
In Badaun, the BJP has this time fielded UP cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s daughter Sanghmitra to take on Dharmendra. She had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on a BSP ticket from Mainpuri and had secured 14.29 per cent votes and stood third. She joined the BJP in 2016.