Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav contested from Karhal. (File photo)


What’s in a name? For three candidates in this Uttar Pradesh assembly election, being called Akhilesh Yadav might have helped them a bit in their fight.

Besides the Samajwadi Party (SP) president, the Congress nominee from Bikapur, an independent from Gunnaur and the SP candidate from Mubarakpur also have the name Akhilesh Yadav.

“I am getting good support in my constituency. People feel sympathetic towards me. I had lost the 2017 polls by a very thin margin. But now, they want Akhilesh Yadav to win. People say as (SP chief) Akhilesh Yadav will be chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav should also be Mubarakpur’s MLA,” the SP candidate said.

The announcement of a candidate by the name Akhilesh Yadav for Mubarakpur had created a flutter, with rumours spreading that the SP chief was fighting the polls from two constituencies.

The Mubarakpur candidate said his father named him Akhilesh because the name his three brothers ended with “esh”– Awadhesh Yadav, Umesh Yadav and Amaresh Yadav.

The SP president fought the polls in the third of the seven phase polls from Karhal, and his fate is sealed in electronic voting machines, with counting on March 10.

Mubarakpur in Azamgarh district goes to polls in the seventh phase on March 7 and in 2017, the SP nominee had lost to Bahujan Samaj Party’s Shah Alam by 688 votes.

Incidentally, the SP president is a Lok Sabha member from Azamgarh. The three Akhilesh Yadavs concurred that having the same name as that of the SP president has helped them in the polls.

Congress nominee from Bikapur and its Ayodhya district president, Akhilesh Yadav, said he joined the Congress in 2016 after moving out of the SP as he was noy given respect.

Recalling an interesting incident, he said, “A few days back, I was campaigning with my supporters in Bikapur. One of my supporters shouted ‘Akhilesh bhaiyya zindabaad’. This prompted some SP supporters, who were in the vicinity to raise slogans in my support.” “Later, they realised that they are actually raising slogans in favour of a Congress candidate,” Yadav said.

Some people also wonder how come the ‘haath kaa panjaa’ (Congress’ poll symbol) has become the SP election symbol, Yadav said.

Lakhvendra Singh alias Akhilesh Yadav is testing the poll waters as an independent from Gunnaur in Sambhal district, which has already undergone voting. He said though he was born Lakhvendra Singh, his grandmother used to call him as “Akhilesh”, and gradually others also started calling him by that name.

The 1983 born told PTI that he has submitted his nomination with the name Akhilesh Yadav. On the pros and cons of being a namesake, he said that he has never ever thought on this line. Interestingly his rival from the SP is Ram Khilari Singh, his father.

“Akhilesh Yadav (the SP chief) is everything for us. Samajwad (socialism) flows in our blood and it is in our genes,” said the namesake independent candidate. On being asked that he is an independent and yet supporting the SP, Lakhvendra Singh alias Akhilesh Yadav, said, “I was the dummy candidate for my father Ramkhiladi Singh, who has been made the Samajwadi Party candidate from Gunnaur.” When results are declared on March 10 it would be interesting to see how many of the Akhilesh Yadavs win. But if they all are lucky then the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly will face a “naam ka chakar” (confusion because of names). PTI NAV CDN SNS ANB ANB

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