Bypoll for three Lok Sabha seats, namely UP's Azamgarh, Rampur, and Sangrur in Punjab, will be held on 23 June. The result will be declared on 26 June.
Samajwadi Party (SP) had an upper hand in these areas in the Assembly polls but bypoll for parliamentary seats is altogether a different ball game and challenges for Akhilesh are many.
SP Had Won Azamgarh Despite Modi Wave
Azamgarh parliamentary seat has 18 lakh electorates. SP had won the seat in 2014 and 2019 despite the Modi wave while BJP won it in 2009 and BSP in 2004.
In 2019, Akhilesh Yadav won the seat with a 60.4 percent vote share while BJP’s Dinesh Lal was the runner-up with 35.1 percent votes. In 2014, Mulayam Singh Yadav won the seat with a 35.4 percent vote share by defeating Ramakant Yadav, who secured 28.9 percent votes.
Now It's Dimple’s Turn
SP is touted to win three Rajya Sabha Seats from UP in the ongoing election process. The party has fielded Kapil Sibal, Jayant Chaudhary of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), and Javed Ali as the candidates.
Though Dimple Yadav’s name was being touted as the candidate for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat, some sections of media were rife with rumors that Dimple Yadav may be sent to Rajya Sabha.
Howver, her name did not figure in the list of candidates released by the party.
Dimple Yadav has fought two Lok Sabha elections from the Kannauj seat. In 2014, she won with 44.2 percent votes while in 2019, she lost the election despite securing 49.6 percent of the total vote polled.
Now she could be fielded from the family pocket borough – Azamgarh. Though Azamgarh is considered a safe seat for an SP candidate, equations may go haywire this time, due to some maneuvering.
Guddu Jamali, an ex-MLA of BSP, had crossed over to SP just before the Assembly election but could not secure a ticket. He again jumped the ship and joined All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi, but could not win. Jamali has now gone back to the BSP fold.
Jamali has fought three Assembly elections from the Mubarakpur seat in Azamgarh and won twice in 2012 and 2017 on a BSP ticket. He stood fourth in the 2022 Assembly election.
It is being said that Mayawati may put her bet on Guddu Jamali for Azamgarh seat as he has a grip over Muslim voters in the area. The fight between SP and BSP for the minority votes may directly benefit BJP.
Guddu Jamali had earlier contested Lok Sabha elections from Azamgarh in 2014 on a BSP ticket when Mulayam Singh Yadav was facing Ramakant Yadav of the BJP.
The triangular fight did not affect the BJP as it got a usual vote share of around 28 percent while Mulayam Singh won the seat with a 35 percent vote share. Guddu Jamali, in 2014, stood third with a 27 percent vote share, which directly damaged the prospects of SP hoping for a huge win.
In 2019, Akhilesh Yadav won the seat with around 60 percent vote share while Dinesh Lal Yadav of the BJP secured 35 percent votes.
Azamgarh is considered a family pocket borough for SP and Akhilesh Yadav would definitely not want to lose the seat while for BJP, this seat is considered the gateway to the Purvanchal area of the state.
Since Mayawati is expected to test the bond of the Dalit-Muslim alliance through a Muslim candidate in Azamgarh, the triangular fight for Azamgarh seat is all set to become a “battle of titans” and a challenge for Akhilesh Yadav in the swiftly changing circumstances.
Rampur: An Epic Battleground of SP-BJP
Rampur, on the other hand, is considered a minority-dominated seat with 52 percent Muslim votes. BJP and SP have been slugging it out for this seat since 1999. In the last five Lok Sabha elections, SP has won the seat thrice while BJP and the Congress won the seat once.
In 2019, Azam Khan won the seat with 52 percent votes despite a tough fight from BJP. Jaya Prada was runner-up with a 42 percent vote share. In 2004 and 2009, Jaya Prada had won the seat on SP ticket.