Barely a few hours before the deadline for the nomination of Azamgarh and Rampur parliamentary constituencies’ by-polls, the Samajwadi Party finalized the name of its candidates. SP had vacated both these seats after the party's MPs Akhilesh Yadav and Azam Khan were elected to the state assembly in the recently held polls.
After keeping suspense over the name of candidates for over one week, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav finally zeroed in on a family member for Azamgarh, and for Rampur, the party has fielded Dharmendra Yadav, cousin of Akhilesh, from Azamgarh and close aide of Azam Khan, Amis Raja from Rampur.
Earlier there were rumours that Dimple Yadav, wife of Akhilesh would contest from Azamgarh. Similarly, in Rampur, wife of Azam Khan, Tazeen Khan was expected to be the SP nominee.
The SP insiders said that the party was earlier in a mood not to give a ticket to any of the family members of Akhilesh and had finalized the name of one Sushil Anand as its candidate. Later, Sushil withdrew his claim citing technical reasons after which, Dharmendra Yadav was pitched for the seat. Both SP nominees Dharmendra Yadav from Azamgarh and Aseem Raja from Rampur filed their nominations on Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Congress party on Monday announced that it would not contest the by-elections of Azamgarh and Rampur. Citing reasons for ongoing organization strengthening exercises, Congress said that it is preparing for the general elections of 2024. However, Congress has not made it clear whether it would support SP candidates or not.
Whereas Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided not to field a candidate from Rampur, its Chief Mayawati has fielded former legislator Shah Alam Alias Guddu Jamali in Azamgarh.
Ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has announced the name of Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Yadav Alias Nirahua from Azamgarh and former SP leader Ghanshyam Lodhi from Rampur seat.
Nirahua had contested from Azamgarh in 2019 and was defeated by SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav. BJP candidates too filed their nominations from both the seats on Monday morning amidst the presence of senior party leaders.