Big Test For Akhilesh Yadav’s Family In Key Polls In UP Today. The counting of votes for the single parliamentary and six assembly seats will be held on December 8.
A series of by-elections are due today along with the second phase of assembly polls in Gujarat. Three of them are in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP will clash with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
- The contest for Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Lok Sabha seat Mainpuri will draw the most attention. Akhilesh Yadav has held a vigorous campaign here after his party lost the other seat that was considered a family turf – Azamgarh.
- Election will also be held on two assembly seats – Rampur Sadar and Khatauli — in Uttar Pradesh. Besides, Bihar’s Kurhani, Chhattisgarh’s Bhanupratappur, Rajasthan’s Sardarshahar and Odisha’s Padampur will also have by-elections.
- Mainpuri fell vacant after Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death earlier this year. Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is representing the Samajwadi Party, contesting against the BJP’s former MP Raghuraj Singh Shakya.
- While Mulayam Singh Yadav has held the seat for five terms, his victory margin in the last election was extremely low. There is speculation that the Samajwadi Party will not have an easy victory here.
- Samajwadi Party has made a public show of unity between Akhilesh Yadav and his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav, declaring that they have bridged their differences.
- Elections became necessary in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli after Samajwadi Party MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified after conviction. While Azam Khan got a three-year jail term in a hate speech case from 2019, Vikram Saini was convicted in a riots case of Muzaffarnagar.
- In Rampur Sadar, the BJP has fielded Akash Saxena, who is the son of former party MLA Shiv Bahadur Saxena, against Azam Khan’s protege Asim Raja. In Khatauli, Vikram Singh Saini’s wife Rajkumari Saini is contesting against RLD’s Madan Bhaiya.
- By-elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Odisha were made necessary by the deaths of the sitting candidates. In Bihar, the sitting MLA of Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal was disqualified. This would be the first contest between Chief Minister NItish Kumar’s Janata Dal United and estranged ally BJP.
- While the outcome of the elections will not affect the government in any state, a victory will provide a psychological advantage ahead of the 2024 general elections.
- The counting of votes will take place on December 8, coinciding with the results of the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.