Having suffered a rout in the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is not leaving anything to chance in the bypolls to the 11 Assembly and one parliamentary seat. Mulayam has announced to hold five rallies including three in Mainpuri, the seat which he had vacated, and one each in Balha and Nighasan Assembly constituencies. His grand nephew Tej Pratap Singh is the party candidate from the LS seat.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, also the state party president, is on a foreign trip.
Mulayam’s decision is being seen as an effort to win maximum seats as another drubbing will infer that SP is on its way out in UP. A victory can give enough fodder to Mulayam to attack the Narendra Modi-government at the Centre. Mulayam’s seriousness can be gauged from the fact that 23 ministers of Akhilesh government have been engaged for managing the bypolls.
SP confirmed that Mulayam will address three meeting in Mainpuri on September 7 — two in Kishni and one at Bhogaon. On September 8, there will be another rally at Christian College ground in the LS seat. Before Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam had addressed a huge meeting for his election in Mainpuri and state government had announced development projects worth Rs 200 crore.
Mulayam will address another rally in Jaswant Nagar, from where he belongs. It is a Yadav dominated area. Mulayam also has devoted the whole Yadav family, including Shivpal Yadav, Ramgopal Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav, in Mainpuri. Shivpal and Dharmendra address nearly 35 meetings every day in Mainpuri while Ramgopal remains at the election office.
Party sources said Mulayam has announced one rally each at Balha in Bahraich and Nighasan in Lakhimpur for SP candidates and more such rallies will be decided in coming days. At Balha, SP has changed its candidate at last moment fielding Bansidhar. Mulayam had taken three meetings of SP candidates and in-charge ministers recently. During the meetings, Mulayam had served ultimatum to the ministers telling them to win the elections or face music. Mulayam even had held one to one interaction with candidates to collect information about their segment.
The ministers are, however, failing to deliver. As per the reports, SP workers had a scuffle in presence of in-charge minister Balram Yadav at Saharanpur alleging sabotage by other groups. Balram had left the place later. SP has fielded Sanjai Garg from Saharanpur.
Akhilesh, who is on official visit to Netherlands and is expected to return on September 8, has already dispatched letters to nearly 500 district level SP workers urging them to devote time for the bypolls.
“Responsibilities have been given to several SP leaders for bypolls. Mulayam Singh is our leader and in every election he remains our focal point for campaigning,” said party state spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary. “Meetings of Shivpal Yadav are also being held and will be intensified in coming days,” he added. SP has shortlisted 40 star campaigners for bypolls.