Haidergarh (Uttar Pradesh): Samajwadi Kranti Dal (SKD) President Beni Prasad Verma was once UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's right hand man but today the two leaders are locked in a bitter political battle.
The region in the fourth phase of the UP Assembly elections is dominated by Kurmis and Muslims, who hold the key to success in most of the 43 seats going to polls on Monday.
Verma, a Kurmi who recently formed the SKD after breaking away from Yadav, has fielded candidates in almost all seats in the area and appears set to corner a large chunk of votes from his community.
Verma was Mulayam's passport to the Kurmi community in UP but now after his fallout with the Samajwadi leader, he is willing to join hands with anyone opposed to Mulayam.
“We will win here. Both Mulayam and Kalyan Singh's candidates will not win any seats here,” says Verma confidently.
In the fourth phase, Verma has the best opportunity to damage Mulayam.
Ten districts go to poll in this phase and the Kurmi population is about 25 lakhs, which is about 15 to 17 per cent while the Yadav population is about 15 per cent. So, it’s because of this combination in 2002 that Mulayam had won 25 seats.
“I'll support Beni Prasad Yadav because he is like family,” say most people in the region.
SP leaders didn't treat us well. If I win I will bring some respect to our community,” says MLA/candidate from Rudauli, Balram Yadav.
So, Mulayam's successful formula seems to be falling apart this time around, something which parties like Jan Morcha and Samajwadi Kranti Dal are tactfully enchasing on.