In what can be termed as a “grand show of unity”, the entire Yadav clan is campaigning for the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate from the Malhani assembly seat in Jaunpur.
The SP candidate is Lucky Yadav, son of the party’s founding member late Paras Nath Yadav.
Shivpal Yadav has addressed two public meetings in Malhani seeking votes for Lucky and Mulayam Singh Yadav has also made an appeal for the candidate.
Akhilesh Yadav also campaigned for Lucky on Friday.
This is the second time that the three leaders are campaigning together for a candidate. Earlier, they jointly held a public meeting and a rally in Karhal for Akhilesh Yadav who is contesting the Assembly elections for the first time.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, so far, has campaigned for only Akhilesh in Karhal.
Paras Nath Yadav, a seven-time MLA, two-term MP and two-term minister, was one of the few SP stalwarts who remained with Mulayam Singh Yadav during the battle of supremacy within the Yadav clan in the run-up to the 2017 Assembly polls.
A seasoned politician and a known Mulayam loyalist, Paras Nath was also close to Shivpal.
Party sources said that after the demise of Paras Nath in June 2020, Mulayam reached out to his children and assured them all help.
In the 2020 by poll, necessitated by Paras Nath’s death, Lucky Yadav won the seat by a narrow margin of a little over 4,000 votes against his nearest rival, Dhananjay Singh.
This time, Lucky is again being challenged by Dhananjay Singh who has been fielded by Janata Dal-United (JD-U), a BJP ally in Bihar.
the BJP has fielded former MP K.P. Singh, while Shailendra Yadav is in fray as BSP candidate.
The SP is unwilling to take any chances and will make sure that it retains the seat.
SP sources have claimed that Dhananjay was a dummy candidate for the BJP and his ticket was routed through JD-U to avoid any controversy over his “gangster” label since a number of criminal cases are pending against him.
Dhananjay, however, claims that he would get at least 50 per cent of the total votes polled in his constituency.
Jaunpur goes to polls on March 7 in the final phase of elections.