Samajwadi Party Chief and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will be filing his nomination from Karhal assembly seat in Mainpuri on Monday. This will be his first ever assembly election; the leader has been a Member of Parliament and MLC earlier.
The Karhal assembly seat, which has been with the Samajwadi Party, will be going for polling on February 20. Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to announce a candidate from this seat.
The Karhal seat falls in the Yadav belt of Central UP. The BJP had last won the seat two decades ago and since then, it has been an SP fortress. Akhilesh’s father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is the current MP from Mainpuri.
The seat for SP Chief was finalised after the SP national president held a meeting with district chief Devendra Yadav, MLC Arvind Yadav and Karhal MLA Sovran Singh at the party headquarters in Lucknow recently. He currently represents Azamgarh in the Parliament.
In 2012, when Yadav had become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, he was elected to the Legislative Council. Since 1993, the SP has won this seat seven times, while the BJP had bagged the seat in the 2002 assembly polls.
The caste arithmetic on the Karhal seat, as per SP sources, is favourable for the party as it consists of around 1.5 lakh Yadav voters, which are considered the traditional vote bank of SP. The seat also houses around 14,000 Muslims and 34,000 Shakya community voters making things more favourable for the Samajwadi Party.
Earlier, there were speculations about whether Akhilesh Yadav may contest from the Gopalpur assembly seat of Azamgarh.
The Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 10 till March 7. The counting will take place on March 10.
With inputs from News18