Tea-stalls in North Indian states are no less than seats of learning and in times of elections, they also predicts the political weather of the region. Thus, when a young man at a tea stall in Karhal, on the condition of anonymity, says,

“Brother, we are Ghosi Yadav, and Akhilesh ji is Kamariya Yadav. From the booth president to the chief minister, there are Kamariya gotras everywhere. No one ever asks us.”

These phrases speaks a lot many words if one wishes to read between the lines.

In the last 30 years, the areas of Mainpuri, Etawah, Firozabad have been Yadavas bastions and are considered as strongholds of SP. After the rise of Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, the people of these areas have voted for the SP fiercely. But history has also been that whenever the voting was done according to the gotra in these areas, then the SP has to face difficulties.

Whether it is the defeat of Dimple Yadav in front of Raj Babbar or the defeat of Shivpal’s son Ankur in the district panchayat elections. SP has faced difficulties many times in the electoral journey. Mulayam Singh Yadav himself had won the Bharthana seat in the 2007 assembly elections in a close contest. Even when Mulayam Singh Yadav became MP in 2009, SP was defeated by BSP in Bharthana.

As the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are progressing, the political mercury is also rising. In the third phase, in the assembly seats where elections are held, everyone’s eyes are on any seat, then that is the Karhal assembly seat. This time Samajwadi Party’s national president Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from here. At the same time, BJP has fielded Union Minister SP Singh Baghel against him in the political fight, which has made it interesting. BJP is no mood to give Akhilesh Yadav a walkover in his own bastion.

It has been a norm in the elections of Bihar/UP, whenever the politics of these states are mentioned, it is immediately followed by the mention of caste, as all other issues gets on a backburner. All parties also announce candidates keeping in mind the castes. But Karhal’s fight seems to be moving a step further.

If one looks at the electoral arithmetic of Karhal seat, Yadav voters are believed to be around 1.30 lakh in the Karhal assembly seat. Out of which about 40 thousand voters are of ‘Ghosi’ gotra. In this battle of Karhal, BJP is leaving no stone unturned from the candidate to the campaign to surround Akhilesh Yadav. Where Home Minister Amit Shah himself has sought votes for SP Singh Baghel. So there, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath landed in Karhal on the last day of the election campaign. Apart from the big leaders, SP Singh Baghel himself is going from village to village seeking votes. SP Singh Baghel says,

‘Look, no one has any stronghold in a democracy. We defeated Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 elections. He also does not forget to mention the alleged attack on him during the election campaign. And are appealing to vote for BJP by reminding the rule of Samajwadi Party.

The way BJP is campaigning in Karhal, it has forced SP and Akhilesh Yadav to change its strategy. Akhilesh Yadav was seen campaigning in Karhal even after nomination. At the same time, in the last days of the election campaign, Mulayam Singh Yadav also reached Karhal seeking votes for Akhilesh. Badan Singh says in Karhal’s Barnahal, ‘This time Akhilesh Yadav’s pro sahab (Ram Gopal Yadav) is also asking for votes.’ Apart from the big leaders, many other members of the Yadav family are also frozen in Karhal.

However, earlier Akhilesh Yadav had announced that he would contest from Karhal, he had also beamed in confidence that he would come only to file nominations, after which he would land in Karhal on March 10. During campaigning in Karhal, Amit Shah takes a jibe at Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party’s hard work in his speech, saying,

Even though Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has passed so much in the harsh sun.’

The Congress has not fielded its candidate in Karhal to make Akhilesh’s electoral path easier. But whether this will increase the speed of Akhilesh Yadav’s cycle or not, the question remains.

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