Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday filed his nomination from Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat in presence of son Akhilesh Yadav. After filing the nomination, the 77-year-old SP founder ruled himself out of the PM race. “It will be decided after the polls,” The Hindustan Times quoted Mulayam as saying when asked who will be the PM candidate of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance.
Voting in Mainpuri will be held in the third phase of elections. The last of filing nomination is April 4. So far, only Mulayam Singh Yadav has filed his nomination from Mainpuri. While the Congress has decided not to field any candidate against Mulayam, the BJP is yet to decide on its candidate. The saffron party, which currently rules the state, has never won the seat.
Mainpuri is considered the Samajwadi Party’s strongest bastion. Mulayam had won the constituency with huge margins in 1996, 2004, 2009, and 2014. The SP has won the seat eight times in row since 1996, including bypolls.
One can get the idea of Mulayam’s popularity in Mainpuri by the fact that he bagged 60 per cent votes during the “Modi wave” in 2014 when the BJP won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. Many people still refer to Mulayam, a ruled the state thrice, as “Mukhyamantri”.
This time, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party are fighting the polls together and experts believe Mulayam’s vote share may rise even more. A joint rally by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP president Mayawati and RLD founder Ajit Singh is also scheduled to be held in Mainpuri on April 19.