Bypoll in Azamgarh, Rampur: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav skips campaigning; BJP toils hard

On the last day of campaigning Akhilesh chose to visit Kannauj to meet one of his old party workers instead of going to Rampur or Azamgarh

Rashmi SharmaUpdated: Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 06:08 PM IST
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SP chief Akhilesh Yadav | Photo: Twitter Image

Lucknow: The campaigning for the by-election to Azamgarh and Rampur parliamentary constituencies in Uttar Pradesh ends on Tuesday. The polling would be held for both these seats on Thursday.

While the leaders of ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) including the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath toiled hard for its candidates in both the seats, the chief of Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav did not bother to pay a single visit. On the last day of campaigning Akhilesh chose to visit Kannauj to meet one of his old party workers instead of going to Rampur or Azamgarh. Akhilesh Yadav had won Azamgarh seat in 2019 elections and vacated it in March this year after being elected for UP assembly. SP Chief has fielded cousin Dharmendra Yadav in the by-election of Azamgarh.

According to SP insiders, barring Akhilesh and his wife Dimple almost all the senior leaders have campaigned in Azamgarh and there is no doubt about the victory of Dharmendra Yadav. They said that during the Modi wave in 2014 and 2019 SP had won this seat and in the recently held assembly polls, the party had made a clean sweep in the entire district. However, they confided that a meeting or rally of Akhilesh Yadav could have made a lot of difference. Contrary to this BJP has pressed a battery of its senior leader for campaigning in Azamgarh where it has fielded Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Nirahua. Both the Deputy CMs and the CM have addressed two meetings each in Azamgarh and made several promises.

In the by-election of Rampur parliamentary seat too, SP Chief has not paid a single visit and the entire campaign has been left to the shoulders of party’s stalwart Azam Khan. In 2019 general elections, Azam Khan had won from this seat but vacated it after being elected for UP assembly early this year. In the by-election, Azam has fielded his close aide Asim Raja as SP candidate. Contrary to Azamagarh, no senior SP leader has been to Rampur for campaigning whereas UP CM has addressed two meetings here.

According to political analyst TB Singh, the position of SP might be strong in both the seats but the absence of Akhilesh Yadav from campaigning could made an impact. He said that BJP is toiling hard for both the seats and its eye is especially on Azamgarh where Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Shah Alam would cause a dent in minority votes of SP. BSP as well as congress has not fielded candidate in Rampur. However, in Azamgarh BSP has fielded its former legislator Shah Alam is relying on its traditional Dalit and Muslim votes.

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