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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dimple Yadav and the politics of Kannauj - UP - Bye elections

There are times when you are bowled if you are trying to apply logic in Politics ! – have you heard of the city of ‘hunchbacks’ ?

In Tamilnadu, political rivalry is often bitter – for decades it has been either AIADMK or DMK – and there is no bonhomie between them. At the National level, it has been Congress for too long with BJP, Janata Dal and United fronts once a while.  The party to rule is the party that has most representatives in Lok Sabha and naturally every seat of Lok Sabha is bitterly fought.  Presently, the running Congress party does not have a majority on their own with 207 seats and has to depend on many allies for their survival.    When a member resigns or dies, a vacancy arises – the party position gets depleted to that extent and hence they try to retain the seat………. Moreover it is seen as a ‘prestige issue’ to stand and win. Other parties would also contest, try to enhance their numbers. 

Most bye-elections are bitterly fought – as a defeat for the ruling party would be painted as a comment on their performance, whilst the ruling party would do all in their means to decimate their opponents. Millions of rupees would be spent, parties could campaign – once the results are out – there would be differing opinions and comments.  In UP, SP is in power – Congress, BJP, BSP are its rivals – bitter rivals, who never wanted SP to come to power…………

In the Parliament INC has 207; BJP has 114, BSP & Samajwadi have 21 each, Janata Dal (United) has 20 …….. so if there were to be bye-election, each Party would vie for winning that constituency and the pre-poll alliances may even be given the go-by.  That has been the poll scenario …… logical, bound to repeat anywhere – irrespective of the State, irrespective of the party, the party-position, the tenure that is available and more……..  every political onlooker and pundit would vouch for this situation !!!

Kannauj is a District in Uttar Pradesh, an ancient city, which was the capital of Emperor Harshvardhan.  Bye-elections to this constituency fell due to the resignation of Akhilesh Yadav, who turned the youngest CM of UP – and call it party dynasty or whatever,  35-year-old Dimple Yadav wife of Akhilesh Yadav was nominated by the Samajwadi Party.   Mrs Yadav filed her nomination on June  5 for the Kannauj Lok Sabha by-election on June 24.   The daughter of an Army officer, Dimple grew up in Bhatinda, Pune, Lucknow, Andaman and Nicobar.  Dimple and Akhilesh were married on November 24, 1999 in a grand ceremony at Lucknow attended by top politicians, film stars and celebrities.  

In 2009, Akhilesh  effortlessly won two Lok Sabha seats -- Kannauj and Firozabad. He chose to represent the former in Parliament, and she was handpicked to contest the by-election for the latter. Firozabad was said to be unhappy at being dumped by Akhilesh and the Congress muscled in, fielding ex-Samajwadi Party man and actor Raj Babbar against Dimple Yadav. The party then made a focused effort to ensure her defeat; even Rahul Gandhi had campaigned for Mr Babbar, who won.   Mrs Yadav's defeat was also seen as a sign of the diminishing political fortunes of Mulayam Singh and his Samajwadi Party.

In Politics too, life turns a full circle. Now in 2012 Assembly elections,  Samajwadi Party won 224 seats out of total 403, up from 97 seats in 2007 elections.   Akhilesh who was a MP from Kannauj resigned his seat to become the Chief Minister and now there are bye-elections in the Kannauj Parliamentary constituency.

When Dimple Yadav is the SP candidate, you would have expected that arch-rival BSP, Congress and BJP – all put up strong candidates to ensure her defeat and embarrass Akhilesh and his Samajwadi Party.  Logical political understanding – but my dear, things do not happen that way !!!!!

It seemingly is a cakewalk for Dimple – BSP decided not field its candidate, Congress too declared that it would not field any nominee against Dimple, BJP announced the candidature of Jagdev Yadav, who mysteriously failed to file his nomination !  Now it is Dimple versus 2 Independents – and sure June 24 by polls’ results are too well-known – may be the margin is what is to be looked into.    So Dimple should be second time lucky and is likely to become the fourth member of the Mulayam Singh Yadav family in Parliament.  Even the proposed elections may not happen, if the two independents -  Dashrath Shankhwar and Sanju Katiyar withdraw at the last hour.

There are also claims by Peace Party of India that political goons attacked their party office threatening its workers against filing nomination and another aspirant reportedly was obstructed from reaching Kannauj for filing his papers. Political analysts see Mulayam's "PR efforts" behind Dimple's smooth ride so far.

Akhilesh Yadav son of Mulayam singh Yadav recently became  the youngest chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.  He got elected for the first time in the bye-election at Kannauj in 1999-2000 and retained this seat in 2004 & in 2009.  The seat was first won by Ram Manohar Lohia in 1967

Kannauj, reportedly derived its name from Kanyakubja, of which an amusing story appears in Valmiki Ramayana.  There was a King named Kusa who married the daughter of the King of Vidarbha and was blessed with 4 sons – Kusanabha, Khsambha, Asurtaraja and Vasu.  Each of them founded a town in their own name; Kusanabha founded a town called Mahodaya meaning ‘high prosperity’ – he begot a hundred of beautiful daughters by celestial damsel Ghritaci – the wind God was enamoured of their charms and made a proposal to marry all of them.  His proposal was met with a scornful refusal.  Enraged at the rebukes, he instantly changed them all into hunchback with his curse – from this circumstance, the place reportedly got the name ‘kanyakubja’ – the city of hunchbacked maidens.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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