The count of votes for the Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency is set to begin at 8 am. The election was held following the death of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in October of this year. Mainpuri went to the bypolls on December 5. The SP, which has never lost any parliamentary elections since 1996, has fielded Dimple Yadav, the former Lok Sabha MP from Kannauj and the wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Dimple Yadav is up against BJP's former MP Raghuraj Singh Shakya. Shakya is also the former confidant of Mulayam Singh Yadav's brother Shivpal Singh Yadav. The Congress and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party BSP kept away from the polls, so there was a direct fight between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal RLD besides Mainpuri. Bypolls were also conducted in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh. The Rampur Sadar was left vacant because of senior SP leader Azam Khan's disqualification after his conviction and three-year imprisonment in a case of hate speech. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is aiming to clinch SP bastions namely Mainpuri, Rampur Sadar and Khatauli, after demolishing the party's presence in Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats in June bypolls, is hoping that the Congress and BSP stay away from the bypolls.
The SP is eager to score big on the back of Shivpal Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav's public show of unity. In the run-up to the election campaign, Yadav also harked back to the connection his family has with the constituency and the role played by Mulayam Singh Yadav, also known as Netaji among his followers.
He said that a lot of work has been done in this constituency by Netaji and Shivpal Yadav. Netaji and the Samajwadi Party have a close relationship with each family here. He considered the people here as his family. Netaji knew the names of every village and person. In Uttar Pradesh s Mainpuri, a voter turnout of 51.89 per cent was recorded on December 5.