Samajwadi Party (SP) president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is leading in Azamgarh in the eastern part of the state, early trends show.
At the peak of the Modi wave in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Azamgarh was one of the five seats that the SP—in power in UP at that time— had won out of a total of 80 from that state. Three years later, in the 2017 State Assembly election, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the state, winning 325 of 403 seats, the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), contesting separately, had managed to save all the five state assembly seats that were part of this constituency, from the BJP.
Yadavs, Dalits and Muslims, three of the largest social groups in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha, form around 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' against SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had defeated the BJP’s Ramakant Yadav (now with the Congress) in 2014 with a margin of 60 thousand votes. In 2009, Ramakant Yadav, contesting on a BJP ticket, had defeated the BSP’s Akbar Ahmad Dumpy with around 50 thousand votes. Mulayam Singh in 2014 and Ramakant Yadav in 2009 won with a vote share of 35.4 per cent and 35.1 per cent, respectively.
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