Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has started preparing for the solo show in the 2022 Assembly election which is about 14 months away.
After his twin failed experiments in the 2017 State elections and 2019 general elections when he joined hands with the Congress and BSP respectively with an eye on Bahujan votes, the former chief minister is now chalking out his own “social engineering”.
On Monday, when the Kayastha community celebrated “Chitragupta Puja” which falls two days after Diwali, Yadav held a special program to congratulate the community on the occasion.
He also honored an ISCE Topper from Lucknow Sandhyika Srivastav on Tuesday. She has scored 99.75 percent scores.
Incidentally, BJP also announced three Kayasth office-bearers in Gorakhpur on Tuesday.
Kayasth is the most prominent “upper-caste” communities after Brahmin and Thakurs. The community constitutes about 6-7 percent of the State population and considered as the educated one and involved in the service sector. It has been strongly rallying behind the BJP since the past few elections.
SP has already been working hard to make inroads among the Brahmin community, the BJP’s traditional vote bank. At the same time, Akhilesh is trying to weaken the Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress both.
In the last one month, Yadav has inducted several leaders from Congress and BSP into the SP fold. Seven MLAs of Mayawati openly rebelled against her and have joined hands with Akhilesh during the MLC elections last month. KK Sachan and Mithilesh Katiyar, two Kurmi leaders of BSP, also joined him.
Getting former Congress MPs- Annu Tandon and Salim Sherwani- was the icing on the cake. Meanwhile, Mr Yadav is sending olive branch to smaller outfits, such as the one run by his uncle Shivpal Yadav.
A Professor of Lucknow University says, "Mayawati has anyway drifted towards the BJP. Hence, the 2022 contest will be Yogi versus Akhilesh. People who believe in secular ideology are finding it better to switch over to SP to secure their political careers."
Yadav's vote bank among OBCs (Yadavs mostly) is secured, consecutive polls have shown. And the Dalits (especially Jatavs) are not leaving Mayawati anytime soon. It is good if Yadav expands his network among the vote-banks of all parties to get the floating voters towards him, observers say.
“Akhilesh Ji has been supporting the Kayasth community since the beginning. He had appointed Alok Ranjan and Alok Bhatnagar as his chief secretaries. He celebrates Swami Vivekanand and Dr. Rajendra Prasad (both kayasth) Jayanti diligently. In the 2019 elections, he had fielded Poonam Sinha (a Kayasth and wife of actor and former BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha) against Rajnath Singh. She polled about 2.9 lakh votes within 15 days of the campaign. This proves that the community also supports us,” claims Deepak Ranjan, a Samajwadi Party leader.