Kannauj: Dimple Yadav, wife of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, on Tuesday kicked off her campaign for the Lok Sabha by-elections from Kannauj, a seat vacated by her husband after the state assembly elections.
She, along with the state Chief Minister, went to Kannauj to file her nomination and addressed a huge public rally.
Addressing the rally, while Dimple assured the people that she would leave no stone unturned for the development of the constituency, Akhilesh expressed confidence in the people of Kannauj.
He said, "I have full faith in the people of Kannauj. They have given me chance three times, and I am confident they will vote for Samajwadi Party this time."
Meanwhile, in an interesting development, the Congress decided not to contest the Kannauj bypoll against Dimple.
It must be noted that in 2009, the Congress had fielded Samajwadi Party rebel Raj Babbar on its ticket against the Yadav Bahu in Firozabad by-elections. Babbar had defeated Dimple by a huge margin in the election.
An announcement in this regard was made by Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh.
However, the Congress leader, speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, said, "We had not put a candidate in 2009 from Kannauj, so we did not do this time as well."
When asked about the growing bonhomie between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, Digvijaya further said that though the SP was supporting the UPA at the Centre, there was no question of any pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh in 2014.
"We will contest all seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 alone," said the Congress general secretary.
Few days back, the growing bonhomie between the Congress and the SP was there for everyone to see at the UPA dinner where Mulayam Singh shared the stage with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress surrounded by troublesome allies like Mamata Banerjee is banking on SP support to push through some key economic reforms. Mulayam’s numbers would be helpful in the upcoming presidential elections as well.
The SP, for its part, seems pleased with the Congress decision.
But as there are no free lunches, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will need generous help from the UPA to fulfill his Rs 2 lakh crore budget promises. He has now fast tracked development scheme in Rae Bareilly and Amethi that had been stalled by the previous Mayawati government.
However, what is more surprising is the decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not to enter the fray in Kannauj and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) keeping the suspense about its strategy.
At the meeting of BJP election committee, it was decided not to contest Kannauj by-elections claiming that party's priority was local bodies elections in which it was focusing.
The meeting chaired by party state president, Lakshimkant Mishra in presence of Kalraj Mishra, Lalji Tondon and other leaders, it was unanimously decided not to contest Kannauj bypolls.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)