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SP battles Mainpuri Lok Sabha, Rampur Sadar Assembly Bypolls, RLD to fight from Khatauli

The Samajwadi party said on Wednesday it would contest the door polls of Mainpuri Lok Sabha and Rampur Sadar and Khatauli with ally Rashtriya Lok Dal.

The parliamentary seat in Mainpuri became vacant after the death of the patron saint of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Mulayam Singh Yadav. The seats of the Rampur Sadar and Khatauli Assembly were vacated following the disqualification of SPs Azam Khan and BJPs Vikram Saini respectively, following their convictions in separate cases.

“While (the) SP will field its candidate in the parliamentary constituencies of Rampur and Mainpuri, (the) RLD candidate will face Khatauli,” the party said on its official Twitter handle.

The bypolls will be held on December 5 and the results will be announced on December 8. However, the Supreme Court ordered India’s Election Commission on Wednesday not to issue the notice for the bypoll in Rampur Sadar until Thursday.

RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary had already made it clear that his party’s alliance with the SP would continue.

“Whether big or small elections, our alliance with (the) SP continues. We had previously contested the Khatauli seat and we got another chance. Our workers will support SP candidates in Rampur and Mainpuri,” Chaudhary said when asked about the RLD-SP alliance in local agency polls.

At the SP headquarters, party chief Akhilesh Yadav met with senior leaders on Wednesday to discuss the candidates for Mainpuri and Rampur, a leader here said.

According to talks in political circles, while Tej Pratap Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav are potential candidates from Mainpuri, the party candidate in Rampur would be Khan’s choice.

Khan represented Rampur Sadar in the Assembly 10 times while his wife Tazeen Fatima won once. The BJP has never won against Rampur Sadar, a Muslim-dominated seat. But a win in the recent lok Sabha bypolls in Rampur, the parliamentary constituency under which Rampur Sadar falls, gives it hope of bucking the trend.

While the outcome of the bypolls in the two Assemblies and the single Lok Sabha seat will have an impact on the governments in the Center and the state where the BJP has a comfortable majority, a victory would give the victor a psychological advantage in the run-up to the 2024 General Election.

The BJP has already snatched Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats from the SP and a win in Mainpuri and Rampur Sadar would boost the party as it aims to win all 80 parliamentary seats in politically important Uttar Pradesh.

Mainpuri will also focus on the roles of the head of the Pragatisheel Samaj party and Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle, Shivpal Singh Yadav.

He sided with the BJP in the presidential election, but the famous ‘chacha-bhatija’ couple were seen together in the wake of the death of Mulayam Singh Yadav, sparking speculation about a patch-up between the two.

The SP-RLD tires will be tested in Khatauli in western Uttar Pradesh. For the BJP, the prestige of the new head of state unit Bhupendra Chaudhary is at stake. A Jat, Chaudhary comes from the area where the RLD also has good support.

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