The decks are being cleared for the political emergence of another member of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family. His grand-nephew Tej Pratap Singh is likely to be fielded for the bypoll in Mainpuri, one of the two seats Mulayam won in the Lok Sabha polls, the other being Azamgarh.
Mulayam is likely to vacate Mainpuri, which was among the five seats the SP won in the state.
The party is yet to officially announce Mulayam’s decision to retain Azamgarh but SP leaders in Saifai block have already resolved Tej Pratap should be made Mainpuri candidate. “Nearly 350 booth level workers of SP attended a meeting Monday. Everybody wanted Tej Pratap to contest if Netaji vacates Mainpuri,” said Dr Arvind Yadav, a local SP leader.
Mainpuri, an SP stronghold where the victory margin was 3.64 lakh votes, is seen as a safer seat and the SP would not like to give up Azamgarh and risk slash in its already low seats count. During the elections, the SP had announced Mulayam would retain Azamgarh, which he went on to win by just 63,000 votes. Mulayam’s daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav, and nephews Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav had won the other three seats.
Tej Pratap, 25, Teju Bhaiyya for supporters, is an MBA from Leeds and his late father Ranveer Singh was Mulayam’s nephew. He was a key man behind the Saifai Mahotsav. Teju is block pramukh of Saifai and was in charge of Mulayam’s election campaign in Mainpuri.
The SP’s Mainpuri unit has not officially recommended Tej Pratap’s name yet. “Tej Pratap has direct contact with workers and visited every village in Mainpuri. Workers are comfortable with him and want him to contest but the final decision will be taken by Netaji,” said Khuman Singh Verma, district unit president of Mainpuri.
Tej Pratap said, “Our party has not done well in the polls and we are still to receiver. A lot of things like reshuffling is going on. Let things settle down.” He said he has nothing against contesting the bypolls. “If you are in active politics, you have to sooner or later contest. But the final decision will be taken by Netaji,” he said.
Mainpuri was the launching pad of Mulayam’s nephew Dharmendra Yadav in 2004. Mulayam has won the seat four times since 1996.
Abhishek Yadav aka Anshul Yadav, nephew of Mulayam Singh, is another good organiser. Anshul had earlier handled the assembly election campaign of Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav in Jaswant Nagar. Anshul’s mother Premlata Yadav is chairman of the district panchayat in Etawah.
While Mulayam’s son Akhilesh Yadav is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, son Prateek Yadav is not very active in politics. During the recent polls, Prateek was seen at a function where his wife Aparna Yadav released a CD of songs for Mulayam’s campaign. The songs had been sung by Aparna and the music was composed by Sajid-Wajid. Many see Prateek too as a contender for Mainpuri.