In Hardoi, the Naresh Agrawal family is the last word in politics. The father-son duo of Naresh and Nitin Agrawal have between them held this seat for 36 out of the last 41 years — and by being in virtually all political parties.
But now, both have fallen out with the Samajwadi Party after an association lasting since 2002 and are with the BJP. Ask Naresh Agrawal what he thinks is wrong with the SP and he is candid: “Akhilesh Yadav has no seasoned politician by his side. Today in SP, look at Shivpal Singh Yadav’s condition. Muh mein Ram, bagal mein chhuri. Shivpal is working on that. Ram Gopal Yadav is sitting at home. Today, even if Mulayam Singh Yadav seeks a ticket, he might not get it. Politics in SP is in the hands of amateurs.”
These comments from Agrawal to News18.com in Hardoi came on a day when Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav put up a united show of strength in Mainpuri during a rare road show with all three leaders. But Naresh Agrawal, who was with the Samajwadi Party from 2002 to 2018, says SP has no vision to seek votes and is fighting the UP election merely on caste. “Yogi’s law and order and Modi’s dedication will swing votes for the BJP. Akhilesh does nothing else but abuse the BJP,” he tells News18.com.
Hardoi District is a fortress for the BJP with all eight Assembly seats and two parliamentary seats here with the party. But Naresh Agrawal, known to be a political weather-cock, admits that the 2022 election in UP is not being fought on the basis of any wave. He admits that stray cattle is a big problem over which people are unhappy with the government.
While Agarwal left the SP in 2018 after being denied a second Rajya Sabha term, and joined the BJP, his son Nitin Agarwal continued to be a Samajwadi Party MLA from Hardoi seat till recently before he quit the party and is now a BJP candidate from the same seat. “I won elections from Hardoi in 2009, 2012 and 2017 not because of SP, but SP won because of me. The SP has no ground base here,” Nitin Agarwal tells News18.com at the family’s Whiteganj house in Hardoi town.
With inputs from News18