Lucknow: With the electioneering for the Kairana Lok Sabha seat nearly over, the Samajwadi Party made clear on Friday that its president Akhilesh Yadav will not address any rally in support of the joint Opposition candidate.
An SP leader said there was “no need” for him to campaign given the “anti-BJP mood” in the Uttar Pradesh constituency where a by-election will be held on 28 May.
The party had earlier indicated that Yadav may address a rally in support of Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Tabassum Hasan, who is also being backed by the SP, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress.
The Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh, whose daughter Mriganka Singh is now that party's candidate.
A bypoll will also be held for the Noorpur assembly constituency in the state on the same day.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently attacked Akhilesh Yadav over the 2013 riots in neighbouring Muzaffarnagar, virtually daring him to campaign.
“The SP chief doesn't have the courage to come here and campaign. His hands are stained with the blood of Muzaffarnagar riot victims," Adityanath had said during an election meeting in Saharanpur.
"The SP president is yet to be seen here, as people will question him about the Muzaffarnagar riots if he comes here," he had said.
SP legislator Sunil Singh Sajan said the party workers had initially asked Yadav to hold a rally in Kairana.
“However, later we only asked him not to come, especially after seeing the frustration in the speech of UP CM Yogi Adityanath,” he told PTI.
He said in the “prevailing anti-BJP mood” there was no need for him to campaign. Also, Lok Dal candidate Kanwar Hasan had now pulled out of the contest, he added.
"The SP president has not campaigned for the bye-elections on both Kairana and Noorpur seats though he has been in direct touch with party leaders and office bearers there," SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said.
"A written appeal by him has been sent but he has not gone there personally," Chaudhary said, adding that the decision on this was taken by the party.
The Opposition campaign is being led by RLD leaders Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhary.
Akhilesh Yadav staying away is a strategic move, a senior SP leader said.
Updated Date: May 25, 2018 22:14:02 IST