Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday indicated his party could field a candidate in the next election from the high-profile Amethi seat, which it used to leave for the Congress.
Mr Yadav, who visited Amethi on Sunday for the wedding of influential party leader and former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati’s daughter, gave the indication in a tweet in Hindi.
“I was deeply saddened to see the plight of poor women in Amethi. VIPs have always won and lost here, yet the condition is like this here so what to say about the rest of the state,” he tweeted, along with two photographs of women sitting on the ground during his visit.
“Next time Amethi will not elect big people but people with big hearts. SP takes a pledge to eradicate poverty from Amethi,” he added.
The Amethi parliamentary seat, which was considered a Congress pocket borough, is currently represented by BJP leader Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
State Congress leader Ajay Rai had recently said Mr Gandhi would contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections from Amethi again. Mr Rai had made the comment during a recent visit to drum up support for Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
“The Gandhi-Nehru family has old relations with Amethi… no one can weaken it. Rahul Gandhi will contest from Amethi in 2024,” Mr Rai had said.
The Congress has constantly been shrinking in the politically crucial state which sends the highest number of 80 MPs to Lok Sabha. In the previous general election, the Congress managed to win only the Rae Bareli seat of Sonia Gandhi.
In the Uttar Pradesh assembly election last year, the Congress failed to win any of the assembly seats in the Rae Bareli and the Amethi parliamentary segments.
In the Amethi assembly seat in 2022, the SP’s Maharaji Prajapati won, defeating the BJP’s Sanjay Singh. The Congress’ Ashish Shukla stood a distant third.
The Congress also drew a blank in the five assembly seats in Rae Bareli last time.
On Sunday too, Mr Yadav hit out at the BJP. Without taking the name of Union minister Irani, he asked the people of the constituency to defeat her in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
“The ‘cylinder waali’ is the MP from this place. Definitely defeat her,” he said.
“Earlier, the BJP people used to carry a cylinder on their head. Today, inflation is at an all-time high, but they have no answer,” Mr Yadav added.
Akhilesh Yadav had extended moral support to the Bharat Jodo Yatra during its Uttar Pradesh leg in January but nobody from the party joined the event.
The SP leader has also spoken highly of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. He has even participated in the rallies of DMK chief M K Stalin in Chennai and BRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao, along with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwat Mann and Kerala Chief Minister Pinyari Vijayan.
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