In the politics of India, any leader is established as a leader of a particular caste only when he gives votes of his caste to the candidate of other caste instead of himself or the candidate of his own caste. Samajwadi Party National President Akhilesh Yadav contested from Azamgarh seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He got more than 60 percent of the votes in this Muslim and Yadav-dominated seat. The BJP had also fielded a Yadav candidate, but it got half the votes polled by Akhilesh. Whatever votes the Yadavs had in Azamgarh, almost one hundred percent of the votes went to Akhilesh. But this does not establish Akhilesh as the leader of the Yadavs. It is not a big deal for him or any other Yadav candidate of his party to get Yadav votes. The big thing will be this time, when he has fielded a non-Yadav candidate from Azamgarh seat.
Akhilesh has given ticket to Dalit leader Sushil Anand for the Azamgarh seat vacated by his resignation. Sushil Anand is the son of Balihari Babu, a prominent Dalit leader who was one of the founders of BAMCEF. Balihari Babu has been in BSP for a long time. Akhilesh has played a big bet by giving ticket to his son. Keep in mind that in the last assembly elections, the BSP had helped the BJP. He had let his core Dalit vote go to the BJP. This time Akhilesh has given ticket to a strong Dalit leader who remained in his party as a cut of his bet. It will be interesting to see whether the Dalits of Azamgarh vote for the candidate of their own caste or do they vote for the Muslim candidate of BSP on Mayawati’s appeal?
On the other hand, BJP has once again made Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirhua, who contested the elections last time, as its candidate. He is a big star of Bhojpuri films. But could not stand in front of Akhilesh. So, this time Akhilesh’s test is whether he can prepare the Yadavs of Azamgarh to vote for the Dalit candidate of SP over the Yadav candidate of BJP. On the other hand, Mayawati’s test is whether she is able to prepare Dalits to vote for the Muslim candidate of BSP over the Dalit candidate of SP. The outcome of this one seat will decide a lot.