Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has chosen to quit as a Member of Parliament (MP) after being elected MLA in the recent Uttar Pradesh assembly election, turning his focus in a way towards state politics and consolidating his vote-bank ahead of the upcoming 2024 national election.
Akhilesh Yadav was an MP from eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh. He contested the state election for the first time in the March-April elections, from family stronghold Karhal, Mainpuri district.
Sources say the former Chief Minister intends to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as opposition leader in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, with an eye on the 2027 elections in the state.
Akhilesh Yadav was the BJP’s main rival in the Uttar Pradesh election but his party bagged 111 seats in the 403-member assembly.
However, the Samajwadi Party registered a massive increase from 47 seats in the 2017 election.
A big factor behind the SP chief’s move seems to be the decimation of Mayawati-led BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party), which won just a single seat.
Sources say Akhilesh Yadav’s strategists believe it is a necessity to keep the party’s vote share intact and also to avoid the perception that the SP chief – the party’s biggest vote-getter is running away after defeat.