September 17, 2014 2:41:38 am
Yet another member of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family has joined him in Lok Sabha. Tej Pratap Singh, all of 26, on Tuesday defeated BJP’s Prem Singh Shakya by a huge margin of 3.21 lakh votes to retain his granduncle’s Mainpuri seat.
Tej Pratap, grandson of Mulayam Singh’s elder brother the late Ratan Singh Yadav, becomes the seventh member from Yadav’s family to have been a member of the Lok Sabha. The list includes present MPs Mulayam, nephews Dharmendra Yadav, Akshay Yadav, daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav and former members Ramgopal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Tej Pratap Singh, who has a masters degree from Leeds University in the UK, is the 13th member of this family to enter active politics.
The ageing patriarch had thrown the full weight of his efforts and influence behind his grand-nephew, given the political trend in favour of a rejuvenated BJP. This was the first time that Mulayam Singh gave four campaigning days to Mainpuri and addressed five public meetings. Six months ago, for his own election, Mulayam Singh had not campaigned at all in Mainpuri.
The other political members of the Yadav clan were deputed for Tej Pratap’s election. Shivpal Yadav was stationed in Mainpuri and addressed up to a dozen meetings every day. MP Dharmendra Yadav too reached out to nearly every village in the constituency.
Fellow MP Ramgopal Yadav manned the election office keeping tab on local workers. Even the third-generation members such as Aditya and Anshul Yadav were assigned roles at block level where they campaigned among voters.
Interestingly, CM Akhilesh Yadav was allowed only a small role addressing just two meetings.
With BSP missing from the scene, team Mulayam reached out to Dalits. Message was given to them that SP still has over two years left in office and hence development of the region is possible through Tej Pratap Singh. One promise which may have made a big difference was of regular power supply if Tej Pratap won. BSP’s vote share, at about 1.42 lakh in April, too was likely divided between SP and BJP.
Although BJP got more votes than in April polls, getting 3,32,537 votes or about one lakh more, SP’s Tej Pratap not only retained all of Mulayam Singh’s votes but added another 57,768. Mainpuri remains an impregnable fortress for BJP or any other party and a safe place where to groom more young Yadavas for state and national politics.
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