Out Of Their Five Strongholds, Members Of Samajwadi Party’s ‘First Family’ Trailing In Two

Out Of Their Five Strongholds, Members Of Samajwadi Party’s ‘First Family’ Trailing In TwoAkhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Mainpuri, Kannauj, Azamgarh, Firozabad and Badaun are to the Samajwadi Party’s Yadav family what Amethi and Raebareli are to the Gandhis. And like the Gandhis, who are facing a strong fight in Amethi from Smriti Irani, the Yadavs too are finding it difficult to secure all their family bastions in the state.

In two of these constituencies, Firozabad and Badaun, the SP is trailing behind the BJP. In Firozabad, two members of the Yadav family are contesting—Akhilesh Yadav’s cousin Akshay Yadav, fielded by the SP, and uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, who has formed his own party after quitting SP. BJP’s Chandra Sen Jadon is leading in this seat, reportedly benefiting from the division of Yadav vote between the two members of the Yadav family in the fray in Firozabad.

In Badaun, where another cousin of Akhilesh Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, is contesting, BJP leader Swami Prasad Maurya's daughter Sanghmitra Maurya is leading. In 2014, Dharmendra Yadav has defeated BSP candidate Dharam Yadav in Firozabad by around 30 thousand votes.

In Mainpuri, Kannauj and Azamgarh, Mulayam Singh, his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav and son Akhilesh Yadav are leading, respectively.

Akhilesh Yadav is expected to win in Azamgarh. Yadavs, Dalits and Muslims, three of the largest social groups in the Azamgarh, form 19 per cent, 16 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, of the total population of nearly 18 lakh. This explains why the BJP has fielded Bhojpuri superstar Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua'.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Tej Pratap Singh Yadav of the SP had secured Mainpuri with a margin of over 3 lakh votes, defeating BJP’s Prem Shakya. Mulayam Singh had contested from Azamgarh in 2014, winning with a margin of 60 thousand votes. Dimple Yadav had contested in 2014 from Mainpuri, winning the seat with a small margin of around 20 thousand votes. In 2012, after Akhilesh Yadav vacated the seat to take charge as the Chief Minister of UP, Dimple Yadav was elected unopposed from this seat. However, in 2019, she is facing a tough fight from BJP’s Subrat Pathak, who ended up second in 2014.

Both Mainpuri and Kannauj are strongholds of the SP. In Mainpuri, Yadavs account for about 35 per cent of the total 12.13 lakh voters. Muslims, Dalits and Shakyas are also present in large numbers in this seat. In Mainpuri, Yadavs and Muslims together number around 4.5 lakh, giving the gathbandhan an edge.