Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh by-polls and the impending state Assembly polls in 2022, former dacoit-turned-Samajwadi Party (SP) MP late Phoolan Devi's sister Rukamani Devi Nishad, on Sunday, joined the party in the presence of chief Akhilesh Yadav, according to ANI. Phoolan Devi was the Mirzapur Lok Sabha MP in 1996. Mirzapur grabbed the national spotlight when she won the seat in 1996. She then lost the seat in a mid-term poll in 1998 and won it again in 1999 before she was murdered in 2001.
Lucknow: Rukamani Devi Nishad, sister of late Phoolan Devi joins the Samajwadi Party in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav. pic.twitter.com/XAFgpBHSUf— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 6, 2019
Earlier on Thursday, Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav's estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav - Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief said that he is open for a coalition with him, according to ANI. He further stated he would not rejoin the Samajwadi Party. Shivpal, who is former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's younger brother, left the party and announced the formation of his own party prior to UP state polls in 2017. His party - Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party was recognised officially in October 2018.
Bypolls are set to be held in 11 Assembly seats in the state on October 21, 2019. The counting for the byelection is slated for October 24, 2019. The 11 seats up for byelections include Pratapgarh, Lucknow Cantt, Rampur, Gangoh, Govindpur, Jalalpur, Zaidpur, Iglas, Manikpur, Ghosi, and Balham. BSP is set to contest on all seats independently after Mayawati broke the Gathbandhan in May. Meanwhile, BJP and Samajwadi Party have asked their respective alliance partners to field the candidates in some constituencies. Congress, on the other hand, is eyeing a comeback, cashing in on the SP-BJP major tussle ahead of state assembly polls in 2022.
SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav has been attempting tomake up for the terrible performance of the party in the Lok Sabha election. SP had fought in coalition with BSP and managed to win only 5 seats and its ally BSP 10 seats against the BJP's 62 seats. There have been reports that Shivpal Singh Yadav's party was blamed by SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for splitting Yadav votes. Also, the Gathbandhan equation had failed after Mayawati pulled out of the coalition and announce her decision to contest for state Assembly bypolls on her own.