Lucknow: Ten seats in western Uttar Pradesh saw slightly better voter turnout in the third phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha election on Tuesday. At the end of voting, about 63 per cent polling had been recorded.
The constituencies are Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Etah, Mainpuri, Firozabad, Aonla, Budayun, Bareilly and Pilibhit. The stakes are particularly high for Samajwadi Party since several members of the extended family of Mulayam Singh Yadav, including himself, are in the fray from different seats.
Political heavyweights like Samajwadi Party leaders Mohammad Azam Khan (Rampur), Akshay Yadav (Firozabad), Dharmendra Yadav (Budayun). From the Bharatiya Janata Party, those in the fray include Jayaprada (Rampur), Rajveer Singh (Etah), Santosh Gangwar (Bareilly), Varun Gandhi (Pilibhit) and Sanghamitra Maurya (Budayun).
The major and perhaps decisive impact of the coming together of SP and BSP is likely to be felt in most seats in this round. In the 2014 election, only Budayun, Firozabad and Mainpuri had been won by the SP, the rest having gone to the BJP. This time, however, the enduring image of Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP’s Mayawati together on one stage in Mainpuri at a joint rally last week is likely to have an impact on BSP supporters in most seats, making things tough for the BJP.
However, Mulayam”s estranged brother Shivpal Yadav is also in the fray with his own party, the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) and he is locked in an intense fight with nephew Akshay in Firozabad. Akshay is sone of Ram Gopal Yadav, who has sided with Akhilesh Yadav in the bitter feud within the family and the party.
In Rampur, Azam Khan, a former minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government, is locked in a bitter battle with Jayaprada, actress-turned politician who had started her political career from the SP itself. Azam Khan and his son Abdullah have been using adjectives and phrases for Jayaprada which have earned the wrath of the Election Commission. Rampur has been a stronghold of Azam Khan and his former protégé is offering him a tough challenge this time.