Akhilesh hints at contesting 2024 LS polls from Kannauj
KANNAUJ: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday indicated that he may contest the 2024 parliamentary elections from Kannauj, which had elected him as an MP for the first time. "It is our job to contest...What will I do sitting idle? I will contest from where I had contested the first election," he told reporters here when asked if he will contest from Kannauj in 2024. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, however, said the party would take a decision at the right time. Akhilesh Yadav was here to attend a private function organised by party leader Sunil Kumar Gupta alias Munna Bhaiya. Reacting to Akhilesh Yadav's statement, BJP leader and Kannauj MP Subrat Pathak said, "He is welcome to contest from here (Kannauj). But he won't win. In the 2024 polls, BJP will win all 80 seats in UP." "SP has a challenge to fight for its existence after the demise of 'Netaji' (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and (Akhilesh) Yadav's statement can be seen in this context. "People have confidence in Yogi Adityanath and Narendra Modi governments. After Mainpuri bypoll results, SP will once again blame EVM. We have a number of SP people in touch from Mainpuri and they will join BJP whenever we ask," Pathak said. The bypoll to Mainpuri seat has been necessitated following the death of sitting MP and SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
To a question as to why he has fielded his wife Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri in the December 5 bypoll as she had previously contested from Kannauj, the SP chief said, "Elections are in 2024 again." To repeated questions by media persons if contesting the next Lok Sabha polls from Kannauj is final, the SP chief said, "The party will decide." Akhilesh Yadav who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Azamgarh seat in the last Lok Sabha elections had resigned from the seat after being elected to assembly from Karhal early this year to remain active in state politics. The 49-year-old SP leader won three elections from Kannauj parliamentary seat since 2000, first he won the bypoll and then 2004 and 2009 general elections. After becoming the chief minister, he was elected to the UP Legislative Council, and Dimple Yadav represented Kannauj winning the bypoll in 2012 and then again winning it in 2014 general elections. She, however, lost the seat in the 2019 elections to BJP's Subrat Pathak. On being told that fielding Dimple Yadav in Mainpuri bypoll has led to confusion among the workers in Kannauj, Akhilesh Yadav described Kannauj as his 'karmabhoomi' and said that the people of Kannauj have elected him as MP thrice. He asserted that the people here have always given him affection and love and so he can never leave Kannauj. Veteran socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia had represented Kannauj in Parliament in 1967 as a Samyukta Socialist Party nominee. Known for the perfume trade, Kannauj constituency was carved out of Farrukhabad in 1997. Kannauj has five assembly constituencies -- Kannauj, Chhibramau, Tirwa, Bidhuna and Rasoolabad. All the five seats are held by the BJP in 2022 assembly polls.
Akhilesh Yadav who is presently busy campaigning in Mainpuri bypoll said that people were supporting the Samajwadi Party there in a big way. Every section is extending support to the party as 'Netaji' gave new dimensions to Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency and had a strong association. The people of Mainpuri themselves are contesting the elections, he added. After attending the function, Yadav left for Mainpuri.