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Dimple Yadav filing her nomination    

UP By-Elections Will Test Akhilesh Yadav’s Leadership Qualities After Mulayam’s Exit

A series of by-elections in Uttar Pradesh on December 5 will put to test the mettle of Samajwadi Party leadership of Akhilesh Yadav after his father Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death. More so as he has chosen to field his wife Dimple from the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, a constituency that has traditionally backed the party patriarch. Dimple, who lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Kannauj, was hoping to ride on the sympathy wave in Mainpuri. Apparently, it is not going to be a cake walk for her as Akhilesh has not managed to secure a truce with his uncle Shivpal Yadav. Of the five assembly constituencies under the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, two of the five seats are currently held by Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav as MLAs. However it is significant that the BJP has fielded Raghuraj Singh Shakya, a former MP and someone close to Shivpal Yadav, as its candidate. Shakya joined the BJP earlier this year after quitting Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party. With tacit support of Shivpal Yadav, the BJP is hoping to breach this Yadav bastion. BJP is also hoping to pick up the Rampur assembly seat that fell vacant after SP MLA Azam Khan was convicted by an MP-MLA court in a 2019 hate speech case.