Indian Express

Mulayam’s Mainpuri dilemma: Whom to field

Partymen want SP chief to name a senior leader, not another of his family member, for the LS seat Tweet This
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The local SP unit is against fielding any outsider from Mainpuri. The local SP unit is against fielding any outsider from Mainpuri.

He may have decided to retain the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat, but Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav is in a dilemma in announcing his successor from Mainpuri, the other seat that he has decided to vacate.

Reduced to just five LS seats, including two that he has won, any loss at this juncture will further deflate Mulayam’s hope to revive his party. Defeat of a family member from Mainpuri will revive Ferozabad nightmare in 2009 when his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav had lost in bypoll to Congress’s Raj Babbar.

As of now there are two strong contenders for Mainpuri seat ? Mulayam’s grand nephew Tej Pratap Singh alias Teju Bhaiyya and SP chief’s second wife’s son Prateek Yadav. The drubbing in LS polls has put Mulayam on a backfoot as voices have been raised asking him to avoid naming any family member and instead field a senior leader from the party.

Incidentally, all the five seats that the party won were snagged by Mulayam’s family members —- Dimple (Kannauj), Dharmendra Yadav (Badaun), Akshay (Ferozabad) and Mulayam (Azamgarh and Mainpuri).

Another ticket to a family member will give the Opposition ammunition to corner both the party and Mulayam.

The choice between Tej Pratap and Prateek too is difficult even though the former is already block pramukh from Saifai and is representative of Mulayam in Mainpuri. Prateek has remained away from the political scene but being Mulayam’s son, locals say, that sooner or later he has to join politics.

“We handed over the victory certificate to Mulayam and also authorised him to take the decision for fielding anyone from Mainpuri,” Khuman Singh Verma, SP’s Mainpuri district unit president said.

Mulayam, who during review meeting had expressed his helplessness —- “With whom will I sit in parliament?” —- is also seen as an indication to bring a senior leader and ensure his victory from Mainpuri. Names doing rounds include that of Azam Khan, Shafeequr Rahman Barq and Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey.  The local SP unit is against fielding any outsider from Mainpuri.

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