Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav Sunday said that if people want him to contest the polls this time, he would. He was speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of an event in Lucknow.
He refused to speak on which seat he would contest and did not answer the question directly, saying, “If people in Azamgarh want me to contest, I will contest from there,” Akhilesh said.
Stakes high in eastern UP
With Akhilesh Yadav hinting that he may contest from Azamgarh in eastern UP, stakes in the region are expected to be very high. The region comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who made her political debut as AICC general secretary incharge of eastern UP, is also launching her campaign from the region on Monday.
When asked if BSP chief Mayawati would contest the election, Akhilesh said it was up to her to decide. “She is my senior. If she wants to contest, she will. I can’t comment on her party and what they do,” he said. Asked if his party would support the Congress after the elections, he said, “It is up to the alliance to decide that,” he said.
When contacted, party spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said it was “certain” that Akhilesh would contest the Lok Sabha polls. Click for more election news
Asked which seat Akhilesh will choose, Choudhary said, “People and party workers have been asking the him to contest from Azamgarh. He is considering the suggestion and we will declare where he will contest from soon. It is certain that he will contest the polls,” he said.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav had contested and won from Azamgarh after he bagged 3,40,306 votes (35.43%), while BJP’s Ramakant Yadav had secured 2,77,102 votes (28.85%) and BSP’s Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali had stood third in the poll with 2,66,528 votes (27.75%).
Akhilesh had last year said that he would contest from Kannauj – which is a seat held by his wife Dimple Yadav. However, on International Women’s Day earlier this month, Akhilesh announced her candidature from Kannauj once again.
Akhilesh had contested his first election from Kannauj in 2000, when he contested a bypoll from there and won.