As soon as BJP announced that its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would contest from Varanasi, Mulayam made no delay to jump in the electoral battle in neighbouring Azamgarh. Mulayam might seem to have an upper hand against Ramakant Yadav but he is not going to get a walkover in Azamgarh especially after QED and BSP deciding to field strong candidates from this seat.

Mastering the Muslim-Yadav equation has always been the backbone of Mulayam’s political success in the past but this time around it is going to be tested like never before. Perhaps, that is why Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav himself is managing entire poll campaign of his father in Azamgarh.

Social polarisation is not new to Azamgarh which has been a stronghold of SP since the end of Ram Manohar Lohia era in1967. The social equations in Azamgarh changed drastically after the Ram Janmabhoomi Andolan.

In fact, Azamgarh is a classic case in point of how SP emerged as a strong political force in Uttar Pradesh by winning over the Muslim-Yadav vote bank simultaneously.

The 20 percent Yadav and 25 percent Muslim populations in Azamgarh have always played a decisive role in SP’s previous triumphs here. The importance of 30 percent Dalit voters and 25 percent other category voters cannot be overlooked as well. This strong vote bank has helped BSP win this seat in the past.

Ramakant Yadav has also managed to get good share of the Yadav, Dalit and other category vote banks, which altogether played a significant role in his win in 2009 on BJP ticket.

In 1996 and 99, he won elections on SP ticket and in 2004 he registered victory as BSP nominee. In 2009, he entered the Lok Sabha as BJP candidate.

Mulayam is once again banking on Muslim-Yadav vote bank but the blot of Muzaffarnagar riots and other parties fielding strong candidates here may give a tough challenge to him.

If QED and BSP manage to sneak out a substantial chunk of Muslim vote bank, winning from this seat won’t be a cake walk for Mulayam from here. This is probably the reason behind Mulayam announcing that he won’t relinquish this constituency after victory.


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