By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav is responsible for the defeat of his party candidates in Azamgarh and Rampur. Since Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats were won by Akhilesh Yadav himself and another important leader Mohd Azam Khan, the defeat of the Samajwadi candidates in the traditional strongholds of SP is a big setback to the Party and especially Akhilesh Yadav.
While BJP mobilised all resources including public meetings by CM Yogi Adityanath and various central and state ministers, on the other hand Akhilesh Yadav preferred to sit in Lucknow and monitor the campaign from state capital. Series of public meetings by CM Yogi Adiyanath and other ministers in Azamgarh helped win of Dinesh Lal Yadav popularly known as bhojpuri singer actor Nirayua. BJP was helped by the presence of BSP candidate Guddu Jamali who had been two time MLA.
Significantly enough the name of Guddu Jamali was announced by BSP National President soon after assembly elections were over. It isa known fact that BSP had transferred it’s votes to BJP and was reduced to only one seat in assembly polls. There was huge loss in vote percentage as well.
Akhilesh Yadav should have realised that the presence of Guddu Jamali was deliberate to damage Samajwadi Party. Whatever vote Guddu Jamali got from minorities should have gone to Samajwadi Party. Normally BSP avoids by-elections but Mayawati announced Guddu Jamali as candidate to damage Samajwadi Party which succeeded in ensuring victory of BJP.
Akhilesh Yadav fielded his cousin brother and former MP from Badaun, Dharmendra Yadav in Azamgarh which had had been pocket burrow of Samajwadi Party with good presence of Muslims and Yadav and the combination should have ensured the victory of Samajwadi Party.. Mulayam Singh Yadav too had won from this seat. Had Akhilesh Yadav realised the seriousness of situation and campaigned for Dharmendra Yadav by addressing meetings the result would have been different.
Now credit goes to CM Yogi Adityanath and strategy of party to rope in BSP to put up candidate helped saffron brigade to win Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat. Similarly in Rampur, Samajwadi Party lost due to over confidence of Akhilesh Yadav and Mohd Azam Khan. Rampur has always been stronghold of former minister Mohd Azam Khan who had won in 2019 Lok Sabha election but resigned when he won assembly polls.
Mohd Azam Khan who was facing more than 80 FIRs against him and was arrested also on the charges of acquisition of land for his university named after Mohd Ali Johar. Azam Khan was recently released on bail following order from Supreme Court.
Akhilesh Yadav gave free hand to Mohd Azam Khan to pickup candidate. Azam Khan selected Asim Raza as candidate. Azam Khan thought that his appeal to voters and victim card would ensure victory of Samajwadi Party. On the other hand BJP selected Ghanshyam Lodhi who had been very close to Mohd Azam Khan as party candidate.
While Azam Khan could not enthuse voters on victim card BJP succeeded in making dent in Samajwadi Party vote base and added backwards support to saffron brigade. Here too Akhilesh Yadav failed to visit to campaign for party candidate which affected chances Samajwadi Party to retain its seat. At a time when Lok Sabha elections are due in 2024 Samajwadi Party leaders will have to sit and analyse why they lost. (IPA Service)