Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple has won the prestige battle in Mainpuri Lok Sabha byelections by registering victory with a margin of more than 2.8 lakh votes.
She defeated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Raghuraj Singh Shakya by 288461 votes in the Mainpuri parliamentary bypolls, which was necessitated after the demise of Samajwadi Party patron and sitting MP Mulayam Singh Yadav in October this year.
Congress and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) did not contest the Mainpuri parliamentary bypolls.
Dimple collected her victory certificate at the counting centre in the presence of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and former Lok Sabha member Dharmendra amid slogans hailing “Netaji”, as Mulayam was fondly called by his millions of supporters.
Her victory added to SP’s joy of the homecoming of Mulayam’s disgruntled younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, who announced the merger of his Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party into the SP on Thursday.
Shivpal, who contested the last assembly elections in alliance with SP but later fell out with Akhilesh, had campaigned in favour of Dimple and appealed to his supporters to choose her over BJP’s Shakya, once considered close to him. Shakya moved to the BJP ahead of the Legislative Assembly elections held earlier this year.
“I appeal to all the voters of Mainpuri Lok Sabha to participate enthusiastically in Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-election-2022. Your every vote is the strength of democracy. Do go to cast your vote today for progress, prosperity and all-round development of Mainpuri,” Shivpal tweeted on the voting day on December 5.
The Mainpuri parliamentary seat was won by Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2019 general elections by around 94,000 votes. The Samajwadi Party had contested the polls in an alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP).
Dimple, known as ‘badi bahu’ among SP supporters, has been a member of parliament from Kannauj constituency twice in the past.
She was elected unopposed as an MP for the first time from Kannauj, the seat vacated by her husband Akhilesh after taking oath as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister in 2012. She won the constituency again in 2014 but lost to BJP’s Subrat Pathak in the last parliamentary elections.
A Yadav dominated seat, Mainpur has traditionally been held by the Samajwadi Party leaders even since Mulayam won the constituency for the first time in 1996. Mulayam represented this seat in Lok Sabha five times out of his seven terms as a Lok Sabha member. He even won Mainpuri in the 2014 election when most of the SP candidates lost in the face of a saffron wave.