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Akhilesh Yadav to focus on non-Yadav OBCs for 2027 polls

Lucknow, June 23, 2024
Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav will make a conscious attempt to consolidate his votes among non-Yadav OBCs as part of his strategy for the 2027 UP assembly elections.

The Samajwadi Party had fielded five family members from the Yadav family – Akhilesh from Kannauj, Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri, Dharmendra Yadav from Azamgarh, Akshay Yadav from Firozabad and Aditya Yadav from Budaun. All the five candidates won the Lok Sabha elections.

“Akhilesh did not field any other Yadav candidate because he wanted to remove the tag of SP being a pro-Yadav party. He gave tickets to other OBCs and the move paid rich dividends with the party winning 37 seats. He wants to continue with the strategy,” said a senior party spokesman.

It is this strategy that is preventing Akhilesh Yadav from naming his uncle Shivpal Yadav as the Leader of the Opposition in his place. Shivpal is among the senior most MLAs and enjoys acceptability in the party ranks.

The SP does not have a Muslim face who can replace Akhilesh as Leader of the Opposition since Mohd Azam Khan is still in jail. The party has 32 Muslim MLAs but most of them lack the experience needed to work as the Leader of the Opposition.

Party sources said that Akhilesh Yadav had already started working on candidate selection for the assembly polls and would be giving greater representation to Dalits since the party had benefitted from Dalit support in the recently concluded elections.

The party’s biggest gamble paid off in Ayodhya (Faizabad) where it had fielded a Dalit leader Avadhesh Prasad who won the seat, defeating the BJP.

SP’s ticketing strategy is significantly being credited for leading the INDIA bloc to a stunning victory.

The party virtually swept the seats in Purvanchal where both non-Yadav OBCs and Dalits make a significant chunk of the electorate. SP also won seven reserved seats.

With Dalits also now ruling out the BSP as an option, a large segment of the community rallied behind the INDIA bloc. “Why should we waste our vote?” was the refrain among a lot of Dalits on the ground when asked about whether they would prefer the BSP.

The result was that the BSP’s vote share was reduced to a dismal two per cent and the INDIA bloc seems to have gained considerably from the fall.(Agency)

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