The sweeping victory of Samajwadi Party (SP) in the Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-polls is terrific news for those voters of Uttar Pradesh (UP) who have rejected the hate talk, and divisive politics of the bulldozer loving ruling party. In the largest and one of the most backward provinces of the country, the ruling party is now struggling to prevent its election symbol the lotus from being trampled by SP's superfast bicycle.

Dimple Yadav, wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has been showered with an envious margin of votes. The votes have also poured in as a tribute to the passing away of socialist leader and founder of SP Mulayam Singh Yadav, the father-in-law of Dimple. Mulayam Singh was a people's leader who was on first name terms with voters of his constituency.

Mulayam Singh is remembered for having built roads, highways, schools and hospitals for ordinary citizens. Combine these fond memories of Mulayam Singh with Dimple's door to door campaigning and booth to booth visits and the result is a thumping victory in the recently concluded by-polls for the SP. Now Dimple promises to carry forward the people friendly legacy of her late father-in-law and voters have supported her in the hope of participating in a more fair and gentle political environment in the future.

That the SP has won Mainpuri is great news for Akhilesh but greater news for senior SP leader and estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav whose son Aditya had tirelessly campaigned round the clock and shoulder to shoulder with Dimple. The best thing that has happened to the SP in recent times is the patch up of uncle Shivpal with nephew Akhilesh.

The recently forged partnership between Shivpal and Akhilesh is clearly responsible for a clean sweep for the SP in Mainpuri today. This partnership was able to create magic at the grassroots where Yadav, Muslim and Dalit voters have unitedly voted in synch with members of other backward communities (OBC) against the present day politics of hate, and hardly any development.

The mood amongst voters is to stand united against divisive politics. That diversity is indeed the strength of society is the spirit amongst voters. However, what does the spectacular win of Dimple in Mainpuri mean for Shivpal who has been sulking for over a decade for not having succeeded Mulayam Singh as supremo of the SP?

According to senior SP leaders, a grateful Akhilesh may offer uncle Shivpal the post of opposition leader in the state assembly in Lucknow. Shivpal may also get to head SP matters in UP while Akhilesh prepares to contest the Lok Sabha parliamentary seat from Kannauj in 2024.

Whatever may happen in the future, for the moment the house of Akhilesh Yadav stands victorious, happy and united.


Like the magic of the Yadav uncle and nephew worked in the Mainpuri constituency, in the Khatauli state assembly constituency the sight of Bhim Army chief and Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad seated beside Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief and Jat leader Jayant Chaudhary was a picture postcard sight as well.

While the older generation of Dalits still swears by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and popular Dalit leader Mayawati, the younger lot seem attracted to the more youthful Azad. In previous elections not contested by Mayawati, most BSP voters have favoured the ruling party. That may not be true as more and more Dalits no longer vote en-masse.

The door to door canvassing by RLD workers and the constant interaction with local people by Chaudhary helped to earn the trust of voters of different communities like Jat, Gurjar, Muslim and Dalit who voted unitedly and generously for the RLD candidate Madan Bhaiyya in the by-polls held for the state Assembly on December 5 against the ruling party's Rajkumari Saini wife of the disqualified Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature Vikram Saini. The win for Madan Bhaiyya has come despite the constant trips made to the constituency by ruling party senior leaders and ministers.

The fact that Mayawati didn't object to Azad making the round of constituencies where by-polls were held is seen as a sign perhaps to her followers to vote for the SP and not for BJP. Along with Muslim voters many a Dalit community also resents the allegation that Mayawati uses it to help the ruling party win elections.

Azad canvassed in Khatauli and in Rampur to impress Dalit voters in favour of the SP and there was no objection from Mayawati, whose politics in recent times is restricted to tweets.


Has the sun set on the political career of SP senior leader Azam Khan?

Khan's handpicked contestant Asim Raja, many a time loser of elections has lost the recent by-polls in Rampur. This is a matter of joy for the ruling party that has been wanting to get its hands on Rampur, considered Khan's fiefdom for several decades.

To win Rampur, the ruling party has done everything in its power like create a rift between the different communities within the Muslim population of the area. The Pathan, Sheikh, Shamsi, Ansari and Turk are all up against each other although united in their opposition to Khan and Raja.

The ruling party has tried to woo Muslim voters in the name of development and promised to take many a step forward towards them if they take the one step of voting against the SP contestant in Rampur to free the former imperial city from the slavery of Khan.

The result is a close win for Akash Saxena of the BJP.