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Kannauj: SP's Akhilesh Yadav strives to reclaim his family legacy as BJP's Subrat Pathak tries to repeat his 2019 win

Kannauj: Considered a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party, Kannauj is set for a fierce battle between SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and the Bharatiya Janata Party's incumbent MP and perfume trader, Subrat Pathak.
Kannauj seat has been considered a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party since 1998, but the seat witnessed a significant shift in the 2019 election when BJP's Subrat Pathak managed to secure victory.
Kannauj known as the 'perfume capital of India' will go to polls in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 13. The counting of the votes will take place on June 4.
In the 2024 election, BJP Subrat Pathak is in the electoral fray against the SP chief and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav. The BSP has fielded Imran Bin Zafar.
Subrat Pathak has been a consistent contender for the BJP, having contested the Lok Sabha elections from Kannauj since 2009.
The BJP stormed the SP citadel in 2019 when Subrat Pathak defeated the then-sitting MP Dimple Yadav with a margin of 12,353 votes.
Subrat Pathak got 563,087 seats with 49.4 per cent votes, while Dimple Yadav got 550,734 votes with 48.3 per cent votes.
This victory marked the end of the Samajwadi Party's seven consecutive undefeated election battles in the constituency.
BJP candidate from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat Subrat Pathak has written to the District Election Officer (DEO) alleging that the Samajwadi Party has brought in anti-social elements, including those from a "particular community" from outside, with the intention of "disrupting" the election process.
"The people in the region have brought to my knowledge that the Samajwadi Party has brought in anti-social elements, including those from a particular community, from outside Kannauj and the state, with the intention to carry out terrorist activities. Many vehicles and people have come in large numbers from different areas who want to attack the Indian democracy by disrupting the election process," he said.
Earlier, the party declared Tej Pratap Yadav, Akhilesh's nephew and son-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, as its candidate but at the last moment Akhilesh Yadav replaced his nephew as the SP candidate.
Kannauj holds a special significance for Akhilesh Yadav, who made his political debut from this seat in the year 2000.
Akhilesh Yadav served as Lok Sabha MP from 2000-2012. He resigned from the Kannauj parliamentary seat in 2012 after he became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
In 2017, his party was unable to form a government in UP and he submitted his resignation to the Governor. He was elected Lok Sabha MP in 2019 and went on to be elected to the UP Assembly in 2022.
Following the UP Assembly polls, Akhilesh Yadav resigned as Lok Sabha MP and retained his state assembly seat.
SP chief said that (Samajwadi Party) SP is directly contesting the BJP, adding to which he said, "Those who follow Babasaheb Ambedkar should help SP to protect the constitution, reservation, democracy and education."
In the 2014 elections, Dimple Yadav secured victory in the Kannauj seat with 489,164 votes. Subrat Pathak of the BJP came second with 469,257 votes, while BSP's Nirmal Tiwari secured the third position with 127,785 votes.
Subsequently, his wife, Dimple Yadav, won the seat unopposed in a bypoll and then triumphed again in 2014. However, she was defeated by Subrat Pathak in the 2019 elections.
In Uttar Pradesh, paper leak cases in government job recruitment examinations have cast a shadow of disappointment on students preparing for the exams. Political parties have included promises in their respective manifestos to address the issue.
Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav raised serious concerns about the integrity of examinations conducted under the BJP regime in Uttar Pradesh.
The political parties made many promises to tackle the issue including digitisation of papers, enhanced security protocols during printing and transportation and leveraging technology to prevent unauthorised access to examination material.
The renowned socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia was the first MP elected from Kannauj.
As per the seat agreement between the Samajwadi Party and Congress in Uttar Pradesh, Congress is contesting on 17 seats and the Samajwadi Party has the remaining 63 seats in the electorally crucial state.
In the 2019 general elections, the BJP emerged triumphant, securing 62 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, supplemented by two seats clinched by its ally Apna Dal (S). Mayawati's BSP managed to secure 10 seats, while Akhilesh Yadav's SP garnered five. Conversely, the Congress party secured only one seat.
The election for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases starting April 19. The counting of the votes will be held on June 4.

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