Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh's efforts in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections didn't bear any fruit as not only the party couldn't win a single seat, but also couldn't even secure second position at any seat.
The SP secured only 0.46 per cent of the votes, even less than half the share of NOTA (None of the Above) which got 0.98 per cent votes.
Akhilesh Yadav, since becoming the national president of the SP in 2017, has faced several electoral defeats in and outside Uttar Pradesh. The SP faced its first setback in 2017 in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections when it formed an alliance with the Congress.
Two years later, the SP allied with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and couldn't perform well in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The losing streak continued in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, and now, the SP faced a setback in Madhya Pradesh as well.
In Madhya Pradesh, the SP contested on 69 seats but its performance was worst in recent years, Hindustan reported. In 1998, the SP won four seats in Madhya Pradesh with a vote share of 1.58 per cent.
In 2003, the party secured a vote share of 3.7 per cent. In 2008 and 2018, the SP won one seat each with vote shares of 1.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively. Even in 2013, when the SP did not win any seats, its vote share was 1.2 per cent.
Out of the 69 seats contested by the SP, it received fewer than a thousand votes on 43 seats. In four constituencies - Bahoriband, Chandla, Jatara, and Niwadi - the SP's votes affected the Congress's performance. The BJP won all four seats.
Akhilesh Yadav conducted 24 rallies, roadshows, and yatras over six days, covering 20 assembly constituencies. His wife, Dimple Yadav, and MP from Mainpuri, also participated in some rallies and roadshows.
Amid the elections, differences emerged between the Congress and the SP as Yadav alleged Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh of not allocating any seats under the seat-sharing formula as both are part of the INDI Alliance.
Yadav publicly accused the Congress of betrayal and even hinted at reconsidering the alliance for the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress State President Nath also referred to the SP leader as 'Akhilesh-Wakhilesh,' further escalating the tension.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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