While the Samajwadi Party (SP) has not fielded candidates against UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Amethi, respectively, SP MLAs in both Lok Sabha constituencies are appealing to voters to not vote for the Congress but press the ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) option in EVMs.
SP MLA from Salon in Amethi, Asha Kishore, has appealed to voters and SP workers in her Assembly segment to press the NOTA button in protest against the lack of development in Amethi. Kishore has made her appeal through the media and personal visits.
“Salon falls in Amethi but Rahul is not concerned about its development. In the past five years, Rahul never visited Salon to address its problems but rather went only to those Assembly segments where the Congress’s candidates have won,” said Kishore.
About the walkover given to Rahul by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kishore said, “Netaji has not fielded a candidate against Rahul but he never asked us to vote for Congress.”
SP MLA from Bachhrawan in Rae Bareli, Ramlal Akela, told The Indian Express that he has appealed to people in his constituency through the media to opt for NOTA. Akela is busy in the party candidate’s election in Unnao and has asked workers in Bachhrawan to spread the word among voters.
Akela said the SP has done the Congress a favour by not fielding a candidate against Sonia, but the leadership never asked workers to vote for the party.
“We will have to contest against Congress in 2017 Assembly elections. Priyanka Vadra comes to campaign for Congress and she targets SP candidates in her Assembly poll campaign,” said Akela.
SP MLA from Sareni in Rae Bareli, Devendra Pratap Singh, said, “My supporters in the party ask me who to vote for in the elections as the party has not fielded any candidate against Sonia. I have told them I will personally opt for NOTA as I expect no development of the area from candidates of other political parties.”
The Congress has also not fielded candidates against Mulayam in Mainpuri and against his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav in Kannauj.