Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will contest the Uttar Pradesh election from the Karhal constituency in Mainpuri district, his first assembly poll as a candidate.
According to reports, Samajwadi Party national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav made the announcement during a press conference where Akhilesh Yadav was also present.
Akhilesh Yadav, who is an MP from Azamgarh seat, had said on Wednesday that he would decide on contesting the Uttar Pradesh polls after talking to the people of his parliamentary constituency.
Mainpuri has traditionally been a Samajwadi Party stronghold. The Lok sabha constituency has been with the SP for nine consecutive terms. Sitting MP and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is representing it for the fifth time.
At present, the SP holds three out of the four assembly seats in Mainpuri district. Karhal, a Yadav-dominated seat, is represented by Sobaran Singh Yadav since 2007. The BJP had last won this seat in 2002 when its candidate Sovaran Singh had won the elections.
In 2014, Mulayam Singh Yadav won the Mainpuri seat by a margin of over 3.25 lakh votes, but later left the seat (retaining Azamgarh). His grandson Tej Pratap Yadav won the bypoll with a margin of 3.50 lakh votes.
The SP founder-patron again won the seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In 2017 assembly polls, SP candidate Sobran Yadav had secured 1.04 lakh votes from Karhal, defeating the BJP's Prem Shakya by 38,405 votes.
The Karhal seat goes to polls on February 20, the third phase of voting in the state.
Elections to the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
(With inputs from Agencies)