Samajwadi Party mentor Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday filed his nomination papers from the traditional Yadav stronghold of Mainpuri for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Mulayam is the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) alliance candidate from Mainpuri.

Polling in Mainpuri will be held on 23 April – the third phase of the seven-tiered elections.

Accompanied by his son and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, the party’s national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, grand nephew Tej Pratap Yadav and Budaun MP Dharmendra Yadav, Mulayam left his residence in Etawah on the Samajwadi ‘rath’ (improvised vehicle).

Leaders of the local unit of BSP were also present at the district collectorate.

After filing his nomination papers, Mulayam reportedly told newspersons that the SP will get majority in Uttar Pradesh in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Stating that he had filed his papers as SP candidate from Mainpuri, Mulayam, however, reportedly kept mum on BSP.

Mulayam parried a question on the joint SP-BSP rally in Mainpuri on 19 April, which is likely to be addressed by BSP president Mayawati. He is reported to have said that Akhilesh will give the answer to the query.

The four-time former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh also denied that he was in the race to become the next prime minister. He said the next prime minister will be decided after the Lok Sabha polls.

The SP mentor was scheduled to address a public meeting in Mainpuri, but he preferred to return to his residence in Etawah. His absence left the SP supporters disappointed.

Addressing the public meeting, Akhilesh Yadav thanked SP workers and leaders of Mainpuri. Akhilesh attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying that the party will be wiped out in the upcoming elections.

Referring to the post-nomination public meeting on Monday, the SP president said the SP-BSP rally will be held in Mainpuri on 19 April, which will herald the amalgamation of varying thoughts and views.

Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav was conspicuous by his absence, but he met the SP mentor in the morning in Etawah to wish him for his electoral victory from Mainpuri.

Shivpal, who has formed the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) after parting ways with Akhilesh and SP, had offered Mulayam to contest on a PSP(L) ticket from Mainpuri. But, after Mulayam was named the SP candidate, Shivpal decided against fielding his party’s candidate from the seat.