Karhal is considered to be a Samajwadi bastion and since 1993, the SP has never lost the election here….reports Asian Lite News
For Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, contesting elections from Karhal will no longer be a cakewalk and this, the BJP has made sure by fielding Union Minister S.P. Singh Baghel from here.
Though the caste equation is completely tilted in favour of Akhilesh, the BJP is banking on non-Yadav OBCs for support.
There is an estimated 1.4 lakh Yadavs of the total 3.7 lakh voters in the Karhal constituency,
The Dalit votes in the constituency are around 70,000 and the BJP arithmetic is to play the ‘Hindu First’ card and erase the caste lines between Dalits and non-Yadav OBCs.
Karhal is considered to be a Samajwadi bastion and since 1993, the SP has never lost the election here.
Located about five kilometres from Sefai, the native village of Akhilesh Yadav, Karhal has a strong emotional connect with the Yadav family.
Dhanraj Yadav, a local teacher, says, “Apart from the Yadav factor which dominates undoubtedly, people know that by voting for Akhilesh, they are electing a chief minister and it is this that is making all the difference. The Yadav family has always been with the people and we reach out to them with our problems.”
The BJP candidate, S.P. Singh Baghel, 61, will be challenging a member of the Yadav family for the third time in the electoral battle from Karhal.
Baghel has unsuccessfully contested against Akhilesh Yadav in 2009, Dimple Yadav in 2009 (bypoll) and Akshay Yadav in 2014 from Firozabad.
Baghel, incidentally was in the security of Mulayam Singh Yadav when he was sub-inspector with the Uttar Pradesh Police and it was Mulayam who had ushered him into politics.
Sushil Tyagi, a local resident, said, “Baghel is a betrayer. Why does he have to contest against the family which made him what he is today. He would have just been another policeman on the streets if Netaji (Mulayam) had not ushered him into politics. The people in Karhal are emotionally connected with the Yadav family and Baghel’s candidate is not being looked upon very kindly.”
Nevertheless, BJP cadres are working overtime to campaign door-to-door for Baghel and bring down the victory margin of Akhilesh.
“We want to ensure that Akhilesh remains pinned to this constituency and fight for the margin. You never know, he may even bite dust if Dalits join hands with non-Yadav OBCs here,” said a BJP functionary.
Baghel belongs to the Dhangar sub caste in Dalits and is confident of getting the Dalit votes.