Reflecting the growing bonhomie between the two parties, Congress has decided not to field any candidate against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav, the Samajwadi Party candidate in the Kannauj Lok Sabha by-election.
“We had not contested the seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha election and we are not contesting it now,” party General Secretary Digvijay Singh said, adding that besides Kannauj, the party had not put up candidate then from Mainpuri from where Mulayam Singh had contested.
The by-election, being held on June 24, has been necessitated following the resignation of Akhilesh Yadav after his election to the Legislative Council.
Dimple Yadav is expected to file her nomination for the Kannauj Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday.
The decision of the Congress this time is in sharp contrast to the 2009 by-election to the Firozabad Lok Sabha seat for which the party had fielded cine star Raj Babbar against Dimple, daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Mr. Babbar won the by-poll after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi campaigned against Ms. Dimple during her maiden entry into the political fray.
Congress and SP have been lately drawing close to each other.
Despite being an outside supporter of the government at the Centre, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s presence at the UPA’s third anniversary dinner last month was reassuring for the Congress which had been plagued by frequent tantrums of some of its allies, especially Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.
At the dinner, Mr. Yadav had also declared support to the candidate which be decided by the Congress in the Presidential poll on the condition that the nominee should not be a bureaucrat.