Mulayam Singh Yadav and Aparna Yadav wave at supporters in Lucknow on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)

Akhilesh Yadav To Contest From Azamgarh; Mulayam Not A ‘Star Campaigner’ 

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav will contest from Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, which was represented by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.

While the 79-year-old SP patriarch will contest from ‘safe seat’ Mainpuri this time, his name was conspicuously missing from the list of 40 star campaigners of the party released on Sunday.

The Samajwadi Party also announced that senior leader Azam Khan will contest from Rampur.

The party, however, sprang a surprise by not mentioning the name of its patron Mulayam Singh Yadav in its long list of its star campaigners. The list was released by senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav. It included the names of party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Azam Khan, Dimple Yadav and Jaya Bachchan among others, besides Ram Gopal Yadav himself.

At present, the SP patriarch represents Azamgarh constituency. He had represented Mainpuri three times earlier in 1996, 2004 and 2009.

In the 2014 polls, Mulayam contested from two constituencies, Azamgarh and Mainpuri, and won both.

The SP has so far announced the names of 20 candidates, 19 in Uttar Pradesh and one Madhya Pradesh.

Besides Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav, other prominent candidates are Akhilesh Yadav's cousins, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav.

While Dharmendra Yadav will fight from Badaun, Akshay Yadav will contest from Firozabad.

Dharmendra Yadav, the son of Ram Gopal Yadav, will contest again from the seat that he has won thrice, while Akshay Yadav will contest from Firozabad, from where he had won the last parliamentary elections.

The party has declared Dimple Yadav its candidate from Kannauj.

The Samajwadi Party, the BSP and the Rashtriya Lok Dal have entered into an alliance in Uttar Pradesh and will contest 37 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP.

While the BSP will contest on 38 seats, the RLD, which is also a part of the alliance, will fight from three seats. The SP-BSP-RLD alliance had left two seats for the Congress in Amethi and Rae Bareli.

The general election will begin on April 11 and will continue till May 19. Polling on the 80 seats in the state will be held in seven phases. The Samajwadi Party and the BSP will hold a series of joint rallies for the Lok Sabha polls, with the first being on April 7 in Uttar Pradesh's Deoband town.

There will be several joint rallies in the state and besides the SP and Bahujan Samaj Party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal will be also part of these public meetings, Samajwadi Party chief spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said.