It's more or less certain that when the Kannauj constituency in Uttar Pradesh goes to polls later this month, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife, Dimple Yadav, will emerge as a clear winner. No mainstream political party has fielded a candidate against Mrs Yadav.
After the Congress announced yesterday that it would skip the election, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which was forced out of power by Mrs Yadav's charismatic husband, Akhilesh, also decided not to field a candidate against Mrs Yadav. However, the BJP hurriedly declared one on the last day of the nomination, but he too failed to file his nomination. Now the party is accusing the in-power Samajwadi Party (SP) of sabotage.
Till yesterday the BJP's state unit was all set to give Dimple Yadav a walkover. But after the party's central leadership intervened, a candidate - Jagdeo Singh Yadav - was announced barely hours from the deadline for filing the nominations. But, Mr Yadav of the BJP emerged two hours after the 3 pm deadline and alleged that he was prevented by the SP workers from reaching the nomination centre on time.
"I was stopped. There was delay in filing the nomination but I was stopped twice on the way," Jagdeo Singh Yadav said today. President of the BJP state unit Laxmikant Bajpai adds "We have informed the Election Commission that our candidate was stopped. We will inform the Election Commission in Delhi as well, and lodge an official complaint."
However, the SP dismisses the allegations, saying political parties lack the courage to fight this election. Senior SP leader Azam Khan says, "Is this how a national party files its nomination, in such a discreet manner? How can candidates of a national party be stopped or kidnapped? They lack courage to fight this election."
Kannuaj goes to polls on the June 24. Dimple Yadav will face two independent candidates in the polls. So, Mrs Yadav, barring a sudden fiasco, should enjoy a walkover. That will be a pleasant change from 2009, when she was hammered in the election she contested against actor-politician Raj Babbar in Firozabad.