Lok Sabha Elections 2024: In Kannauj, Akhilesh Yadav Fights Back For His Lost Fort

Kannuaj Lok Sabha seat is one of the most important constituencies to observe in the upcoming Indian general election. The seat comprises five assembly segments spread across three districts, with four currently held by MLAs from the Bhartiya Janata Party and one by the opposition Samajwadi Party.

Seat of Ram Manohar Lohia

Kannauj, one of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, located between Kanpur and Agra, has a rich political history. The constituency has been a significant site for the socialist movement since the 1960s and has only elected Congress candidates twice since its establishment. The seat has witnessed 14 general elections and two by-elections, with its first election in 1967, marking the beginning of a Samajwadi Party stronghold that lasted from 1998 to 2019. The renowned socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia was the first MP elected from Kannauj. He played a pivotal role in forming the state’s first non-Congress government in 1967, alongside Bharatiya Jan Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh. Unfortunately, Lohia passed away a few months after his victory.

It is also worth noting that Sheela Dixit, a prominent political figure, represented Kannauj in 1984 while serving as the Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.

Samajwadi Party’s Stronghold

A consistent winner from 1998 to 2019

The Samajwadi Party has dominated the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat, holding it for five consecutive terms from 1998 to 2019. During this period, the party demonstrated its strong support in the region. However, it is important to mention that other parties have also held the seat in previous years, including the Janta Party (thrice), BJP (twice), Congress (twice), Samyukt Socialist, and Janta Dal.

Akhilesh Yadav’s political debut

Kannauj holds a special significance for Akhilesh Yadav, who made his political debut from this seat in the year 2000. Additionally, Mulayam Singh Yadav, a prominent leader of the Samajwadi Party, contested the 1999 Lok Sabha elections from two seats, including Kannauj, and emerged victorious in both. Subsequently, he vacated the Kannauj seat, leading to a by-election.

Dimple Yadav’s unopposed victory

In 2012, Dimple Yadav, the wife of Akhilesh Yadav, made history by becoming the first woman from Uttar Pradesh to be elected unopposed in a Lok Sabha by-election from the Kannauj seat, following her husband’s appointment as the Chief Minister of the state.

The Rise of BJP in Kannauj

Breaking the Samajwadi Party’s streak

In the 2019 general elections, the BJP’s Subrat Pathak emerged victorious in Kannauj, defeating Dimple Yadav by a margin of 12,353 votes. This victory marked the end of the Samajwadi Party’s seven consecutive undefeated election battles in the constituency. Subrat Pathak has been a consistent contender for the BJP, having contested the Lok Sabha elections from Kannauj since 2009. In 2009, he finished third with 1.5 lakh votes, and in 2014, he improved his position by becoming the first runner-up with 4.69 lakh votes. In the upcoming election, Pathak is set to face off against Akhilesh Yadav.

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