Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh's daughter-in-law, Dimple Yadav, will contest the June 24 by-election for the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat, vacated by his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Ms. Yadav's candidature was cleared by the SP central parliamentary board at a meeting here on Saturday.
‘Safe route' in civic polls
However, the SP took the ‘safe route' of not contesting the coming local bodies elections on the party symbol. National general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told journalists that the workers wanted to contest the civic elections, to be held in four phases in June and July, on the party symbol as had been the case in the panchayat polls. “But the parliamentary board ruled that since only a few could contest the polls on party symbol, the workers have been permitted to enter the fray without using the party symbol.” Symbols would not be allotted to party workers desirous of contesting the mayoral election,
The SP move is seen as an attempt to thwart the possibility of rebellion in the ranks arising from denial of nomination.
Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party has also decided not to allot symbols to its candidates But both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are contesting the polls on their symbols.
As for the Kannauj by-election, it will be Ms. Yadav's second attempt at entering the Lok Sabha after her debacle in the Firozabad by-election in 2009. In the Firozabad poll, necessitated by the resignation of her husband who preferred to retain Kannauj, Raj Babbar of the Congress won and Ms. Yadav's defeat was a huge blow to the SP president.
About the green signal for her candidature now, in the backdrop of the Chief Minister's remark that she would not contest the Kannauj by-election, Mr. Ram Gopal Yadav said the decision was taken in deference to the demand of party workers. “Party workers from Kannauj met Mr. Mulayam Singh on Friday and urged him to declare Ms. Dimple the SP candidate.”
On the allegation of duality in the SP's ties with the Congress, Mr. Yadav said the party extended outside support to the UPA government at the Centre but “will oppose anti-people decisions taken by it.” He pointed out that the SP had given a call for a Uttar Pradesh bandh on May 31 in protest against the recent hike in petrol price.
In another decision, the SP national executive would meet in Kolkata on July 10 and 11.