The Samajwadi Party’s stronghold of Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh witnessed a rare moment on Sunday as Akhilesh Yadav touched the feet of his uncle Shivpal Yadav during campaigning for the bypolls due next month. Dimple Yadav – Akhilesh Yadav’s wife – is one of the six candidates in fray for the bypolls. The Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the death of the SP patriarch – Mulayam Singh Yadav – on October 10.
A video tweeted by news agency ANI showed the former UP chief minister greeting his uncle, touching his feet and then greeting the crowd. This comes days after Shivpal Yadav – chief of the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L) – met Dimple and Akhilesh at his residence in ancestral village in Saifai of the Etawah district.
Following the meeting, Akhilesh Yadav had tweeted: “Along with blessings of Netaji and elders of the family, the people of Mainpuri are with us.” In his post, he shared a pictue of his uncle, wife and Shivpal’s son Aditya Yadav. The uncle-nephew duo have had bitter fallouts in the past ahead of the 2017 assembly elections. They had come together before the 2022 state polls but differences emerged after the February-March elections were over. They were seen together in October performing the rituals after Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death.
Meanwhile, the Mainpuri polls will be held on December 5; and the votes will be counted on December 8 – the same day when Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will be expecting the assembly election results. Other candidates contesting the polls are: Raghuraj Singh Shakya (BJP), Pramod Kumar Yadav (Bharatiya Krishak Dal), Bhupendra Kumar Dhangar ( Rashtriya Shoshit Samaj Party) and Suresh Chandra and Sushma, both independents.
While campaigning in the constituency this week, Akhilesh remembered his father as he said that “Mulayam Singh Yadav always cared for Mainpuri and stood for development”. “When I met him regarding under construction Agra-Lucknow Expressway during the SP regime, Netaji (MSY) ordered me to complete it within 24 hours as he wanted to inaugurate it after laying foundation stone and our government followed the direction and the best expressway connecting Agra with Lucknow was completed in time,” the former UP chief minster said.