The Samajwadi Party is losing friends at a time when it needs them most.
Though the Mainpuri seat is considered relatively safe for Samajwadi Party, in view of the prevailing political situation in the state, the SP will need all its resources to retain the seat from where Dimple Yadav is contesting.
The seat has been a SP stronghold and Mulayam Singh had never lost any election from here. It is important for the SP to win the seat and retain Mulayam’s legacy.
The BJP is yet to announce its candidate, but former SP allies are already predicting the SP’s defeat in Mainpuri.
Former SP ally — the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar — has not only fielded its candidate in Mainpuri but is also predicting the defeat of Dimple Yadav.
“Akhilesh has made more enemies than friends. All is not well in his own family, leave alone the party. We should remember that Ravan lost the battle only because of Vibhishan,” said Rajbhar.
The SBSP has fielded Ramakant Kashyap from Mainpuri with an eye on Kashyap votes. He plans to make a dent in the SP’s OBC vote base.
On the other hand, another former SP ally, the Mahaan Dal, has also slammed Akhilesh for fielding Dimple Yadav and not giving a chance to ‘ordinary party workers’.
Mahaan Dal president Keshav dev Maurya said that the decision to field Dimple Yadav was ‘not wise’.
Shivpal Yadav, president of the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL), has maintained a studied silence on his support to Dimple’s candidature.
Shivpal Yadav represents the Jaswantnagar seat, which is a part of the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat and his support would be extremely crucial for the SP’s victory because of the influence he wields in the region.
According to a family source, “Shivpal is likely to maintain a complete silence on the by-election. He will neither speak a word against Dimple and nor will he campaign because Akhilesh has not even spoken to him in this regard. Senior family members are upset because Akhilesh is not making any effort to mend fences with his uncle after his father’s demise.”
Shivpal, meanwhile, said that he would wait and watch before making any statement.
The Congress, which had traditionally not been fielding its candidate against Mulayam Singh Yadav, has also not made its intentions clear regarding support to the SP.
Though the party has decided not to contest any by-election this year, it has not asked its cadres to support the SP.
The SP leaders meanwhile said that though Mainpuri would remain in the Yadav family fold, it is also important not to become complacent.
“Every vote lost by us is a vote gained by BJP. We must make sure that we keep the flock together-whether it is the family or the party. SP president has left out some senior party leaders from the list of star campaigners which is not sending out a good message,” said a senior party MLA.