Dimple Yadav files nomination for Lok Sabha.
Interestingly India's ruling Congress party announced its decision not to field any candidate against Dimple as a proof of growing bonhomie between the two parties.
Digvijay Singh, the Congress general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, justified his party's decision saying the Congress party had not put up its candidates against Akhilesh and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav also during 2009 general elections even though their alliance talks had failed over sharing to seats.
This, however, did not reflect when Akhilesh vacated Firozabad seat opting to retain Kannauj seat after emerging victorious from both constituencies. The party fielded ex-Samajwadi Party leader Raj Babbar, a popular film star, and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi even campaigned in the ensuing by-election.
The ground situation has, however, changed since 2009 as the Congress party is heavily dependent upon the Samajwadi Party to ensure its government completes its full term at the centre in view of constants threats of ally Trinamool Congress to pull out of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Samajwadi Party provides outside support to the federal government.
Mulayam was accorded special treatment at the dinner party Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had hosted for UPA partners at his 7 Race Course Road bungalow last month to celebrate three years of his government in its second term. Despite not being a constituent of the UPA Mulayam was given a prominent seat on the dais and was offered the chair next to the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi at the dinner.
Before filing her nomination, Dimple, 35, addressed a rally at Kannauj and thanked the voters for welcoming her. "I want to thank all of you...for many of you, I am Bhabhi (sister-in-law)", she said, while her husband Akhilesh who in March became the youngest Uttar Pradesh chief minister at 39 stood by her side.
Akhilesh vacated Kannauj seat after getting elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, necessitating the by-election. Akhilesh had won Kannauj seat thrice since making his debut in politics in 1999.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party has named Jagdeo Singh Yadav as its candidate against Dimple, the state's erstwhile ruling Bahujan Samaj Party has not named its candidate yet. Kannauj Lok Sabha by-election is scheduled for June 24.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister in a tactical move told the crowd at the rally that due to his work he would not be able to campaign for his wife and exhorted the voters to ensure Dimple is elected with record margin. Dimple lavished praise at Akhilesh Yadav government expressing her satisfaction at its work so far in the last three months and giving 8 out of 10 to it.
Kannauj is traditionally considered a pocket borough of the socialists and is considered safe seat for the Yadav daughter-in-law who originally hails from neighbouring Uttarakhand.
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