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In Karhal, Tipu is sultan & Baghel has battle royal at hand | India News – Times of India

AGRA: Karhal gained “VVIP status” in the eyes of the public the moment SP chief Akhilesh Yadav declared that he will contest from the constituency. The area has been an SP bastion for long. Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav both studied and taught at Jain Inter College in the town. He later won assembly elections from Jaswant Nagar, a neighbouring area. Those residing in the traditional SP stronghold affectionately refer to Akhilesh as ‘Tipu’, his childhood name. With elections approaching, several say their choice is “easy”.
“Na mantri ko, na santri ko, hum to mukhya mantri ko vote karenge (We will not vote for any minister or security officer but for the CM candidate),” said Rajeev Yadav, former pradhan of Kutukpur Buzurg village. His reference to “mantri” and “santri” is to BJP heavyweight Union minister S P Singh Bhagel, who is challenging the Yadav family. Baghel was once an SP loyalist and the personal security officer of Mulayam. Though Bhagel’s entry was surprising for many, many locals said they feel that he “may not be a match against Tipu. ”
“He has lost to the Yadav family twice earlier and will meet the same fate,” said Manikchand Yadav, a senior citizen in Karhal. “If Akhilesh is elected from here and becomes the CM, our constituency could see development like Saifai, which is Mulayam’s village,” he said. Saifai is 4 km away from Karhal.
Analysts say that Karhal is a “safe bet” for Akhilesh. Though Yadavs comprise 14% of the state’s vote share, in Mainpuri, where Karhal is situated, the community constitutes the biggest chunk. Of the 3. 7 lakh voters in Karhal, Yadavs account for 1. 4 lakh.
BJP’s state secretary Vijay Shivhare said Karhal will be a “close fight. ” “SP can’t take this seat lightly as a Dalit MP is fighting against Akhilesh. ”

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