The results of the by-elections to two Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat will not change the complexion of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly or the Lok Sabha but they will definitely decide the fate of some leaders.
The by-election to the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, which was declared vacant following the demise of Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, is extremely crucial for the party and the Yadav clan.
Dimple Yadav is contesting the Manipuri by-elections to claim Mulayam’s legacy.
The entire Yadav family joined hands to ensure that the seat remains in the family, estranged leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav also patched up, much to the relief of family members.
For Akhilesh, this election is extremely crucial because ever since he took over the reins of the party, he has been facing a series of defeats. From the 2017 Assembly polls to 2019 Lok Sabha polls, then the 2022 Assembly polls and the following bypolls in Azamgarh and Rampur, the party has faced losses.
A victory in Mainpuri will not only strengthen his position as the party leader but will also boost the morale of the cadres.
These by-elections are even more crucial for senior SP leader Mohd. Azam Khan, who has not only been disqualified from the state assembly — which necessitated the bypoll — but has also lost his right to vote.
Azam Khan has fielded his protege Asim Raza as the SP candidate and has been making highly emotional speeches in the campaign. He knows that the victory in Rampur may ensure his survival in politics while a defeat will mark the end of his reign in Rampur.
Akhilesh Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief Jayant Chaudhury and Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar have campaigned in Rampur.
The by-election in Khatauli is crucial for RLD, which is contesting the seat in alliance with the SP. Its candidate Madan Bhaiyya is a well-known face in the region and RLD’s victory would serve as elixir for the party and reinforce its position in western Uttar Pradesh.
BJP’s victory in these by-elections, on the other hand, will further enhance Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s position as an invincible leader and give a befitting answer to his detractors within the BJP.
Meanwhile, three-tier security arrangements are in place for the counting of votes on Thursday for the bypoll in the high-profile Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, where the SP is locked in a battle of prestige against the BJP.
The Central Para Military Force (CPMF) will guard the isolation cordon while the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) will take care of security in the inner ring and the police are managing the outer cordon at the counting venue in Mainpuri.
Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur and Khatauli are the Assembly seats where results will also be declared on Thursday.
“Security at the venue is divided into three cordons — the isolation cordon, where entry will be totally restricted, and will be taken care by the CPMF. PAC men will be stationed in the inner ring and the outer area will be manned by civil policemen,” said Superintendent of Police (Mainpuri), Kamlesh Dixit.