LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday named party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav as a star campaigner for Dimple Yadav in Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll.
The announcement has, at least for the time being, put to rest speculations over Yadav clan going to the bypoll as a divided house as Shivpal was missing in action in SP’s poll preparations till Monday evening. He was also not seen in the nomination on Monday.
Shivpal is a sitting MLA from Jaswantnagar, an important assembly segment of Mainpuri Parliamentary constituency.
He contested on the SP ticket but continues to be a member of PSP (L), the outfit he launched after parting ways with the family-run party.
Having been elected from the constituency for the sixth consecutive term, Shivpal enjoys considerable clout in the region and some rigorous campaigning by him is sure to help Dimple.
Interestingly, Shivpal’s name was missing from the list of SP’s star campaingers in Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypolls held on June 23.
Jaswantnagar and Karhal assembly segments are known to have contributed significantly to SP’s so far undisputed hold over Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat which has been with the Yadav clan since 2004.
In the 2019 and 2014 polls SP polled 1,37,407 and 1,87,755 votes in Jaswantnagar assembly segment where the nearest rival (BJP) polled 75281 and 25414 votes respectively, adding to the lead of the SP candidate.
In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav got 1,18,133 votes from Karhal assembly segment while the nearest rival polled 79,967 votes. This time Akhilesh is the sitting MLA from the constituency.
Till Monday, political circles were rife with speculations that Shivpal himself was keen on contesting the Mainpuri bypoll as an SP candidate to carry forward Mulayam’s electoral legacy and was miffed since the party named Dimple as the candidate. His absence from Dimple’s nomination only added credence to the reports that Shivpal was more than unhappy with the development.
Akhikesh and senior leader Ram Gopal Yadav, however, had dismissed all such reports as ‘baseless’. When asked about Shivpal’s absence from Dimple’s nomination, Akhilesh said only proposers of the candidate were present as the party wanted to keep the event a low-key affair. “We will all campaign together,” he had said. Ram Gopal had outrightly dismissed reports that Shivpal was unhappy and went on to state that Dimple’s name was finalized in consultation with him.
Shivpal’s name figures on the 7th position in the list of 40 star campaigners that was sent to the Election Commission of India by SP on Tuesday. The top six names include party chief Akhilesh Yadav, vice president Kiranmoy Nanda, secretary general Ram Gopal Yadav, sacked Rampur MLA and party veteran Azam Khan, MP Jaya Bachchan and state president Naresh Uttam Patel.
In the list of star campaigners, Shivpal has been described as the party’s sitting MLA and former minister.
Shivpal heads Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party – Lohia (PSP-L) but has contested and won the 2022 assembly polls from Jaswantnagar on SP ticket.
The list concludes with the name of Pallavi Patel, who is from Apna Dal (K) and had, like Shivpal, contested the assembly elections on an SP ticket to defeat deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in Sirathu.





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