Perfume Politics: BJP’s Subrat Pathak Faces Off Against SP’s Tej Pratap Yadav in Kannauj Lok Sabha Race

Samajwadi Party has fielded Akhilesh Yadav's nephew Tej Pratap Singh Yadav (R) against BJP MP Subrat Pathak in Kannauj.
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In the fragrant lanes of Kannauj, India’s renowned perfume capital, the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are stirring up a heated contest between sitting MP and BJP contender Subrat Pathak and the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Tej Pratap Yadav, a nephew of party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who emerges as a relatively fresh face in the political arena.

Formerly a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party, Kannauj now finds itself at the forefront of a close battle between the BJP and SP. Following speculation surrounding SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s candidacy, the party surprised many by nominating his nephew, Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, for the crucial seat, leaving several SP workers in Kannauj discontented with the decision.

The BJP wasted no time in denouncing the SP’s move as dynastic politics, labeling Tej Pratap Yadav’s candidacy as a manifestation of “Parivarvaad” or family-centric politics. Subrat Pathak, BJP MP and candidate for Kannauj, quipped that his “PDA” stood for ‘Parivar Defence Alliance’, taking a dig at the SP’s decision.

Sources reveal that SP workers in Kannauj are hesitant to embrace Tej Pratap’s candidacy, with Akhilesh Yadav’s visit to Etawah and Saifai on April 24 expected to influence the final decision regarding the Kannauj seat.

Perfume Politics Perfumes the Electoral Atmosphere

Kannauj, celebrated for its perfumery heritage and renowned as the heartland of attar production, now finds its electoral landscape intertwined with fragrant nuances. Conversations with attar traders and shopkeepers by India Today/Aaj Tak provide insights into the electoral pulse of the perfume capital.

Shyam Ji Gupta, an attar trader, voiced concerns over a decline in the perfume industry and urged the government to alleviate the burden of GST on perfumes and attars. Expressing his views on the upcoming elections, Gupta speculated that the BJP holds an advantage unless Akhilesh Yadav contests from Kannauj, given Tej Pratap’s relatively unfamiliar persona.

Bauwan Tiwari, a prominent attar trader, lamented the alleged neglect of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s visionary project, the International Perfume Museum and Park, attributing its stagnation to petty politics.

Incomplete Projects and Political Maneuvering: The Tale of Perfume Park

The saga of Kannauj’s Perfume Park unveils a narrative of unfulfilled promises and political maneuvering. Initiated during Akhilesh Yadav’s tenure, the project witnessed little progress until recent years. Despite promises of rejuvenation, the site remains barren, with minimal development.

Subrat Pathak, in an exclusive interview, dismissed claims of incomplete projects and emphasized his efforts to advocate for tax relaxation for attar traders. He asserted that Kannauj no longer harbors allegiance to the SP, citing his victory in 2019 as evidence.

Mixed Sentiments Among Kannauj Locals

As the electoral fervor heightens, Kannauj locals exhibit a spectrum of opinions. While some criticize Subrat Pathak’s track record, they anticipate votes in favor of the BJP due to Prime Minister Modi’s influence. Many remain unaware of the SP’s nomination of Tej Pratap Yadav, signaling a shift from the party’s once-dominant position in the region.

As the scent of politics mingles with the fragrance of attars in Kannauj, the Lok Sabha battle promises to be a compelling narrative of traditional legacies, dynastic aspirations, and electoral dynamics.

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