This is the last election for former Samajwadi party supremo and veteran of Indian politics Mulayam Singh Yadav. The 79-year-old is fighting for his legacy from his stronghold, Mainpuri. Last week, Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati shared a stage for the first time in 24 years, burying a two-decade-old hatchet in the name of gathbandhan. In a historic moment, Mayawati called Yadav a real leader and in turn, Yadav urged his supporters to always respect Mayawati and said that he would never forget her gesture to campaign for him in his traditional seat.
Yadav has won four terms from Mainpuri, in 1996, 2004, 2009, 2014. One of the big reasons why winning the seat is almost a fait accompli for the SP leader is because Yadavs form about 35 percent of the population. Even in the 2017 UP Assembly polls, when BJP had swept the state by winning 325 of the 403 seats, SP had won four out of the five assembly seats in Mainpuri Lok Sabha segment.
Family grudges and old rivalries have been set aside for the common goal in Uttar Pradesh. Yadav is up against BJP's Prem Singh Shakya, but defeating the SP leader would be a tall mountain to climb.