BJP pitches Shakya against Dimple in Mainpuri bypolls

BJP pitches Shakya against Dimple in Mainpuri bypolls

Lucknow: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has pitched former MP Raghuraj Singh Shakya against former MP from Kannauj and Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Dimple Yadav, wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, in bypolls for Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat.

Once considered to be close to Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) president Shivpal Singh Yadav, Shakya joined BJP ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls earlier this year. He was elected MP from Etawah seat twice, once in 1999 and again in 2004.

The Mainpuri seat is considered to be SP bastion as the party had never lost Lok Sabha election from this constituency since 1996. SP founder and patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was elected four times from this seat. The seat fell vacant following the demise of Mulayam Singh after prolonged illness in Gurugram on October 10.

On Rampur Sadar assembly seat, where bypoll has been necessitated following disqualification of senior SP leader and sitting MLA Azam Khan, BJP has once again fielded Azam’s arch rival Akash Saxena alias Honey. In the assembly elections, Saxena lost to Khan by a margin of more than 55,000 votes.

While 1,30,649 votes were polled in favour of SP, Saxena received 75,411 votes. Apart from being a political rival, Akash Saxena is also the complainant in most of the cases lodged against Azam Khan.

Azam Khan was disqualified from the UP Assembly after being convicted for three years in a hate speech case.

In the Khatauli assembly seat in Muzaffarnagar district, BJP has put its bet on former MLA Vikram Singh Saini’s wife Rajkumari Saini.

Here too the seat fell vacant after sitting BJP MLA Vikram Singh was disqualified after being convicted for two years in 2013 riots that broke out in Kawal town of the district.

Upbeat with its victory in bypolls for Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats, which were also considered as strongholds of SP, BJP will leave no stone unturned to grab the opportunity.

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya on Monday claimed that the party is going to win all the three seats for which bypolls are being held.

The BJP state president tweeted, “Hearty congratulations and best wishes for victory in advance to Raghuraj Singh Shakya, Rajkumari Saini for Khatauli assembly by-election and Akash Saxena for Rampur assembly by-election.”


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