Bypolls to decide future of national politics with an eye on 2024
Lucknow: Bypolls are being held for the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant after Mulayam Singh’s death, and for the vacant Rampur assembly seats due to the cancellation of Azam Khan’s legislature. Although the by-election is also being held on Khatauli assembly seat, but Mainpuri and Rampur seats have more political importance.
These two by-elections are not just by-elections for two seats. Rather, it is a litmus test for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The by-elections are going to decide the future of the Samajwadi Party. Both these seats are the stronghold of the Samajwadi Party. Mainpuri is a Yadav dominated seat and Rampur is Muslim dominated. Yadav and Muslim are the basic base of Samajwadi Party.
If the BJP wins even one of these seats, then there will be a question mark on the Samajwadi Party becoming an alternative to the BJP in the next assembly elections. Mayawati wants the SP’s graph to fall, so that the public, especially the Muslims, get the impression that the SP could not stop the BJP. If this assumption becomes true, then the Muslim vote which went with SP will return to BSP. Due to this, Muslim-Dalit alliance will be formed in place of MY alliance in the next Lok Sabha elections.
Whereas during the by-elections on Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats, candidates were fielded in Azamgarh, but not in Rampur. First let us understand why Mayawati adopted different strategy in Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats. This is where politics is. If Mayawati did not field her candidate in Azamgarh, the BSP vote would have gone to SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav and he could have won. Had she fielded her candidate in Rampur, the Hindu vote would have been divided and BJP candidate Ghanshyam Lodhi would have been defeated.
Now the same politics has been adopted in the by-elections of Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat and Rampur assembly seats. Had the BSP fielded its candidates in Mainpuri and Rampur, the Samajwadi Party would have benefited on both the seats. Mulayam Singh himself won in Mainpuri by a margin of only 11 percent votes over BJP candidate, then BSP supported Mulayam Singh who has at least 16 percent votes in Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat.
Similarly, the BSP has close to eight per cent votes in the Rampur assembly seat as well. In the Rampur Lok Sabha by-election, the SP lost and the BJP benefited due to the BSP not contesting. Now the same pattern can remain in the assembly by-elections as well. Mayawati is not helping the BJP to win, but is working on a strategy to defeat the Samajwadi Party, so that before 2024, an impression is created in UP that the SP cannot compete with the BJP. It will happen that anti-BJP votes will start looking towards Mayawati to defeat BJP. Talking of the strategy of the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav has given ticket to his wife Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri seat vacated by the death of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav. In 2014, she won from Kannauj itself, but lost to BJP in 2019.
Like Mainpuri, Kannauj has also been a Samajwadi Party bastion, but the BJP entered Yadavland and defeated Dimple Yadav. Now the SP workers of Kannauj have become more demoralized due to Dimple contesting from Mainpuri, to get them out of frustration, Akhilesh Yadav has announced to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Kannauj in 2024 in the midst of the Mainpuri elections itself. While Akhilesh Yadav won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Azamgarh, he resigned from Azamgarh to become the Leader of the Opposition in UP, his own brother Dharmendra Yadav lost in the bypoll.
The BJP won Kannauj the way it captured Amethi. Now, due to BSP not contesting elections, a situation like Kannauj is being created in Mainpuri as well. Akhilesh knows that once the BJP succeeds in breaking the stronghold of Yadavland, then it will not be easy to stop it. Actually Akhilesh Yadav is talking about contesting from Kannauj but he has left the decision to the party itself.