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10th of family in politics

Lucknow, Aug. 22: Mulayam Singh Yadav’s grand-nephew Tej Pratap Singh Yadav today filed his nomination for the bypoll to the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat.

Mulayam had vacated the seat after he won from two constituencies, the other being Azamgarh, in this year’s general election. The bypolls are scheduled for September 13.

If he wins, Tej Pratap, 25, who holds an MBA degree from Leeds, will become the 10th member of Mulayam’s family to occupy a key position in the party.

Mulayam’s son Akhilesh is chief minister and daughter-in-law Dimple an MP. The Samajwadi Party chief’s brother Shivpal Yadav is a state minister and cousin Ramgopal Yadav the party general secretary.

Two of Akhilesh’s cousins, Dharmendra and Akshay, are MPs and one, Ankur, is the chairman of the cooperative federation in Uttar Pradesh. A cousin’s wife, Premlata, is the Etawah district panchayat chief.

Tej Pratap, the son of Mulayam’s nephew Ranveer Singh Yadav who died a few years ago, is already the Samajwadi block chief of Saifai, the Yadavs’ native village in Etawah.

The “Saifai festival”, the family extravaganza featuring Bollywood stars organised once in a few years amid controversies over its lavishness, is held in the memory of Tej Pratap’s father Ranveer.

“I will try to serve the constituency with the same dedication as Netaji (as Mulayam is referred to by family and party members) did. I will try to come up to his expectations,” Tej Pratap said today after filing his election papers, the first candidate to do so since the nominations opened on Wednesday.

Samajwadi members see his victory as a given in the seat that has long been Mulayam’s fief.

He was accompanied by grand-uncle Ramgopal and uncle Dharmendra Yadav, also a Samajwadi MP.