Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is set to be the Leader of the Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. His party’s 111 legislators have unanimously elected him as the leader of Samajwadi Party’s legislature party, a party spokesperson said.
The spokersperson said Mr Yadav will meet leaders of Samajwadi Party’s allies to discuss the issues the Opposition parties will raise in the Assembly.
A first-time MLA, Mr Yadav resigned as Azamgarh MP earlier this week after he was elected legislator from family stronghold Karhal in UP’s Mainpuri district.
Sources have said the former Chief Minister intends to take on the BJP on the floor of the House with an eye on the 2027 polls in the politically significant state.
Mr Yadav was the main challenger to the BJP in this year’s Assembly election. While his party finished a distant second, winning 111 seats in the 403-member assembly, it managed to record a massive jump in its vote share and clocked its best show in state polls ever.
Sources say Akhilesh Yadav’s strategists believe it is a necessity – not a choice – to keep the party’s vote share intact and also to avoid the perception that the Samajwadi chief – the party’s biggest vote-getter – is “running away” after defeat.
The party’s top leaders fear that if their chief is not proactive in state politics, the Muslim and Yadav voters, who apparently backed the party in the polls, may drift to other parties.
Mr Yadav has termed his resignation as MP a “necessary sacrifice”. “Crores of people of UP have given us a moral victory in the Assembly polls. To honour this, I will represent Karhal and always remain committed to the progress of Azamgarh,” he said in a tweet after submitting his resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
“This sacrifice is necessary for the struggle against inflation, unemployment and social injustice,” he added in his Hindi tweet.
While the BJP managed to return to power with a clear majority, winning 273 seats along with its allies, the alliance’s tally dropped by 49 seats. This election saw a straight contest between the ruling BJP and Mr Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, with the Congress and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party putting up a dismal show.