The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday announced the name of Shivpal Singh Yadav as one of its campaigners for the Mainpuri bypoll.
The party had on 10 November named party leader Akhilesh Yadav’s wife, Dimple Yadav, as a candidate for the parliamentary seat in Mainpuri, which fell vacant following the death of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The list sent to the Election Commission by SP Chief Secretary General Ram Gopal Yadav includes 40 names, including that of Shivpal Yadav – founder of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) and brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
There was no immediate response from the PSPL to the inclusion of Shivpal Singh Yadav’s name on the SP campaigners list.
However, both Shivpal Singh Yadav and his son Aditya Yadav were not present when Dimple Yadav submitted her nomination papers on Monday.
Others named as campaigners in the list include SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Mohd Azam Khan and Jaya Bachchan.
Shivpal Singh Yadav’s name was not on the list of campaigners ahead of Assembly polls earlier this year and he was not invited to party rallies despite his support for the SP, PSPL leaders claim.
Dimple Yadav, wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, represented the Kannauj seat in 2012 and 2014.
Dimple Yadav’s candidacy from the seat is seen as the SP’s efforts to carry on her father-in-law’s legacy in the seat, which has been regarded as a stronghold of the Samajwadi party since 1996.
Her selection is also seen as an attempt to unite party cadres ahead of the bypoll.
Akhilesh Yadav’s Karhal assembly place is part of Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency, as is Jaswant Nagar represented by Shivpal Singh Yadav. Shivpal Singh Yadav had won the seat on the SP ticket.
The role of Shivpal Yadav in the Mainpuri bypoll is hotly debated in the political circles.
Dimple Yadav had lost the 2009 Lok Sabha by-election from Firozabad to actor turned politician Raj Babbar and 2019 BJP candidate Subrat Pathak from Kannauj.
She was elected unopposed from Kannauj constituency in the Lok Sabha in 2012 after Akhilesh Yadav became the chief minister and resigned to run for Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.
In 2019, Mulayam Singh Yadav had won the seat by a margin of over 94,000 votes.
According to sources, Yadavs represent about 35 percent of the total 12.13 lakh voters, with the remainder comprising Shakya, Thakurs, Brahmins, Scheduled Castes and Muslim communities.
Mainpuri parliamentary constituency has five constituencies including Mainpuri, Bhogaon, Kishni, Karhal and Jaswant Nagar. While SP won three, BJP got two seats in the Assembly polls.
Mainpuri bypoll will be held on December 5 and the result will be announced on December 8.
Read all the latest political news here