Firozabad could be tough for Mulayam’s sonMarch 7th, 2009 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS
Agra, March 7 (IANS) The Firozabad Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh could prove a tough proposition for Akhilesh Yadav, son of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Not only is he up against heavyweights but is also contesting at a time when voters in the glassware and bangle manufacturing hub have been hard hit by recession.
Akhilesh Yadav, 35, is the candidate from a seat which was represented thrice by party veteran, Samajwadi Party general secretary and former union minister Ramji Lal Suman. The seat, 50 km from Agra, has now been declared general after the delimitation process.
“Many in Firozabad feel that Akhilesh Yadav is an outsider and except for the fact that he is former chief minister Mulayam Singh’s son, he has nothing much to show,” says Firozabad factory owner Shyam Sunder.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finalised the name of state party vice president Raghvar Dayal Verma for the seat in the April-May election.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is fielding a former Samajwadi Party MP, S.P. Singh Baghael, who defected after realising that his Jalesar seat, after the delimitation process, may not be favourable terrain. Baghael has been chosen three times from Jalesar constituency.
But the man who could give nightmares to Akhilesh Yadav is independent candidate Ashok Yadav who is popular and has the backing of the Yadav community, particularly in the Shikohabad segment. As a former minister and independent MLA, Ashok Yadav contributed to Shikohabad’s development in a big way.
“Akhilesh will need to work very hard and spend a lot of time in the constituency, particularly to consolidate fragmented Muslim votes,” feels bangle manufacturer Manoj.
Firozabad was once a sub-district of Agra, and is the biggest centre of glassware and bangle-manufacturing. Global recession has hit the glass industry which employs more than 100,000 workers.
The local manufacturers have been demanding incentives and concessions, particularly reduction in the price of natural gas.
After the Supreme Court ordered polluting industries in the Taj Trapezium Zone in 1993 to shift, shut or switch over to natural gas, a large number of smaller glass units had to be closed.
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