LS polls: SP to focus on its strongholds

  • | Saturday | 9th March, 2024

With the aim of strengthening its core political narrative of PDA (Pichhda, Dalit, Alpsankhyak), the Samajwadi Party will focus its attention on its bastions – the Lok Sabha seats that have elected Yadav candidates in the past elections. With the present electoral arithmetic and popular perception, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party continues to enjoy a dominant position in Uttar Pradesh. In view of the challenges in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the 2027 UP assembly polls, the SP has upped the ante to protect its strongholds. The first important parliamentary constituency is Kannauj from where SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was elected three times and his wife Dimple Yadav twice. This Lok Sabha seat, once represented by veteran socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohiya, remained a stronghold of SP since the party was founded in 1992.  In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Akhilesh Yadavs wife Dimple Yadav lost this seat to the BJPs Subrat Pathak by a narrow margin of over 12,000 votes. The party has appointed Dharmendra Yadav, a cousin of Akhilesh Yadav, as in-charge of the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat. The Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency too remained a stronghold of the SP. The BJP, however, wrested this seat from the SP in the 2022 by-election. BJPs Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua, defeated the SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav by a slim margin of over 8,000 votes. With former Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali, a popular Muslim face of Azamgarh, joining the SP, the party hopes to boost its PDA voter base with Jamali on its side. Mainpuri remains a SP bastion with the Yadavs managing to hold this seat both during the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Dimple Yadav represents the constituency after she won the 2022 Lok Sabha bypolls by over 2.90 lakh votes. The SP will again field her from Mainpuri. Budaun is another parliamentary constituency where the SP has held sway in the last three decades. The BJP wrested this seat from SP in 2019 when Sanghmitra Maura defeated Dharmendra Yadav by about 20,000 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. For the upcoming parliamentary elections, the SP will field Akhilesh Yadavs uncle Shivpal Yadav from Budaun. The SP is confident that it has a pole position in UP politics in taking on the BJP. Uttar Pradesh sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha. The BJP, along with its minor allies, won 73 and 62 of these 80 seats in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, respectively. The SP, a constituent of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), is contesting the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the Congress. The SP will contest 63 Lok Sabha seats and Congress the remaining 17 seats in UP. Unlike the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Akhilesh has failed to stitch an alliance with Mayawatis Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal. The RLD has switched sides and joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

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