Mulayam to address first SP rally in Ghazipur: Will Akhilesh join him ?

Mulayam to address first SP rally in Ghazipur: Will Akhilesh join him ?


Mulayam to address first SP rally in Ghazipur: Will Akhilesh join him ?


Lucknow:   Ruling Samajwadi Party getting past its family feud has announced to launch its poll campaign for Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls from November 23 when Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav will address a public meeting in Ghazipur, the strong belt of the Quami Ekta Dal (QED) led by mafia don Mukhtar Ansari, whose party had merged with the SP a few months ago. But it has to be seen whether Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who had launched his campaign seperately on November 3 by starting the Samajwadi Vikas Rath Yatra would join his father in the rally. Akhilesh Yadav is also likely to start his second phase of yatra from November 14. The CM was annoyed with the merger of QED with SP and had earlier sacked a minister Balram Yadav over the issue . Though he later re-inducted him after pressure from the party. SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav will formally kick off the poll campaign from Ghazipur on November 23, a day after his birthday on November 22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be in Ghazipur on November 14 and interestingly both the meetings would be held at the same ground. Mr Modi will address a rally there as the `Parivartan Yatra’ the ongoing campaign of the BJP, which was flagged off from Ballia on November 9 will reach Ghazipur on November 14. The move is also being seen as SP's attempt to reach out to Muslims in eastern UP by launching its campaign from the region which is close to Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of the Prime Minister. This will be the first major political rally to be addressed by the SP chief in a east UP district. This rally is also significant as the Quami Ekta Dal, a small political outfit of Mafia don Mukhtar Ansari, which recently merged with the Samajwadi party, is a significant political force in the district. Mulayam Singh was scheduled to kick off the poll campaign from Azamgarh on October 6. The rally at Azamgarh, also his Lok Sabha constituency, had to be called off due to the dissensions within the first family of the party and the apprehension of opposition to the political event by a section of the party leaders of Azamgarh. The state president of the Samajwadi party Shivpal Yadav,who held a meeting of the party leaders from east UP districts of Varanasi, Jaunpur, Bhadoi and Ghazipur yesterday to take stock of the preparations for the rally, told UNI here today that it would be a historic rally and will create a record of sort by the attendance. " Netaji will address the public meeting and with this the party will launch its poll campaign in the state," he stated. The party has accorded priority to the rally for several reasons. This will be the first rally ahead of the UP Assembly elections to be addressed by the party chief in the traditional stronghold of the party. Afzal Ansari, the former head of the QED was elected on SP ticket as the MP from Ghazipur Lok Sabha seat in 2004 parliamentary elections. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections SP had lost this seat to BJP candidate Manoj Sinha by a small margin. Mr Singh is presently an influential minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, with holding the portfolioes of independent charge of telecommunications and minister of state for railways. The rally is also important for the SP as it will cement its ties with the QED. The merger of the QED with the SP in June last was aborted and had to be called off due to the opposition by the Chief Minister. The issue was however resolved after two months and the merger of the QED with the SP was formalised. Ghazipur and Mau districts are known to be QED strongholds with Sibghatullah Ansari and younger brother Mukhtar representing the Assembly seats from these districts. The Ansari brothers, who have been part of east UP's politics for more than two decades, have always projected themselves as the torch-bearers of the Muslim community in the region and managed to garner support of the "neglected class" as a whole by focussing on the backwards and Dalits as well.

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