karhal: Karhal Suspense Drags: who will oppose Bjp to Akhilesh? | Lucknow News

Lucknow: Who will be Karhal’s BJP candidate? The issue has taken on much salience for the high-profile seat where SP leader Akhilesh Yadav is the candidate in his first-ever assembly election. The last nomination date for the seat is Tuesday and the ballot will be held in the third phase on February 20.
As Akhilesh is due to drop his nomination on Monday, the BJP continues to hold its cards close to its chest, leaving poll watchers guessing. Party sources, however, do not rule out the possibility of the party sending a non-Yadav OBC to send a message to the community, days after a host of defections from backward caste leaders hit the saffron camp . Speculation was also rife that the BJP was backing an upper-caste candidate to pinch Akhilesh who flagged a Brahmin card. The electoral contest over the seat has already taken a curious turn with BSP leader Mayawati lining up a Dalit, Kuldeep Narayan, to prepare for a clash between Yadav and Dalit – in what marks Maya’s deft attempt to shore up the Dalits who otherwise , could drift towards the BJP.
Congress is also seeking to cut Yadav’s vote bank by eliminating Gyanvati Yadav from the seat. BJP sources said the party plans to field a candidate who could potentially cause unease in the SP camp. Sources said a battery of senior BJP leaders are expected to camp in Karhal in the coming days to keep Akhilesh on edge.
Karhal is under the full control of the Samajwadi party, with party MP Sobaran Singh Yadav winning the party seat since 2007. Interestingly, Sobaran first won the seat on a BJP ticket in 2002. According to sources, Karhal has about 3.5 lakh voters, of whom about 1.25 lakh are Yadav, while Shakyas, a large non-Yadav OBC sub-caste, count for about 35,000 votes. The BJP had projected the Shakya community significantly in the past. In 2017, he fielded Rama Shakya who, however, lost to Sobaran by a margin of around 40,000 votes. Similarly, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Saffron Party fielded Mainpuri’s Prem Singh Shakya but lost to SP Patriarch Mulayam Sngh Yadav by a margin of 1 lakh votes.
Mainpuri, the stronghold of the PS Yadav family, has four assembly seats — Mainpuri, Bhongaon, Kishni (SC) and Karhal. While the SP won all four assembly elections in 2012, the BJP managed to make an entry into the pocket borough of Yadav in 2017. Then BJP candidate Ram Naresh Agnihotri won from Bhongaon , beating SP’s Alok Kumar by a margin of around 20,000 votes.

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