The political heat in Uttar Pradesh had gathered momentum as the Election Commission of India (ECI) declared the dates of Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha by-polls. Both the parliamentary constituencies are held by the Samajwadi Party (SP), and party sources have confirmed to The Daily Guardian Review that in this prestige battle the party will name someone from the family of Azam Khan for the Rampur seat while it is possible that Dimple Yadav contests from the Azamgarh seat. One party leader said, “in all probability, Azam Khan’s wife will be the party’s candidate for the Rampur seat and Dimple Yadav from the other seat.”
Both the parliamentary segments are considered the bastions of the party as even in 2019 polls when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its alliance partners won 64 parliamentary segments in the state, the SP won both the seats with a huge margin. Azamgarh parliamentary seat was won by party supremo Akhilesh Yadav who resigned after getting elected as a member of legislative assembly (MLA) in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the SP boss won the seat by a margin of more than 2,60,000 votes against the BJP’s nominee and Bhojpuri star Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ while party’s veteran leader and 11-time MLA, Azam Khan won the Rampur seat defeating saffron party’s Jaya Prada by a margin of 1,10,000 votes.
The BJP, which is the prime player in the state will also fight it all out in the by-polls to avenge the 2019 defeat on both the seats to send a positive message across the state. Party sources have said that the candidates of the BJP will be heavyweights who can give the SP leadership a good challenge. “We understand the significance of both the by-polls and want to repeat the 2014 Lok Sabha performance in Rampur when the BJP candidate defeated the SP nominee. In Azamgarh also we will win,” said Dinesh Dubey, a Uttar Pradesh BJP leader.