What does a Congress candidate from Bikapur in Ayodhya, an independent from Gunnaur in Sambhal, Samajwadi Party candidates from Mubarakpur in Azamgarh and Karhal in Mainpuri have in common — they are all Akhilesh Yadavs.
While SP president Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from Karhal and is being seen as a chief ministerial candidate, his namesakes are also basking in reflected glory.
“I am getting good support in my constituency. People feel sympathetic towards me. I had lost the 2017 polls by a very thin margin. But now, they want Akhilesh Yadav to win. People say that one Akhilesh Yadav will be chief minister and Akhilesh Yadav should also be Mubarakpur’s MLA,” said Akhilesh Yadav from Mubarakpur.
When his name was announced from Mubarakpur, many thought that the SP president was contesting form two seats — Karhal and Mubarakpur.
Mubarakpur in Azamgarh district goes to polls in the seventh phase on March 7.
Congress candidate from Bikapur and the party’s Ayodhya district president Akhilesh Yadav said he joined the Congress in 2016 after moving out of the SP as he was not given respect.
He said, “A few days back, I was campaigning with my supporters in Bikapur. One of my supporters shouted ‘Akhilesh bhaiyya zindabaad’. This prompted some SP supporters, who were in the vicinity to raise slogans in my support.”
Later, they realised that they are actually raising slogans in favour of a Congress candidate, Yadav said.
“Some people also wonder how come the ‘haath kaa panjaa’ (Congress’ poll symbol) has become the SP election symbol,” Yadav said.
Independent candidate Akhilesh Yadav is testing the poll waters from Gunnaur in Sambhal district, which has already gone to polls. He said that though he was born with the name Lakhvendra Singh, his grandmother used to call him ‘Akhilesh’, and gradually others also started calling him by that name. “Akhilesh Yadav (the SP chief) is everything for us. Samajwadi (socialism) flows in our blood and it is in our genes. My father Ram Khiladi Singh is SP candidate,” he said.
The three namesakes of the SP president are now waiting to see whether their luck matches Akhilesh Yadav’s luck when counting is held on March 10.