The BJP has decided to field MoS SP Singh Baghel against Akhilesh Yadav from the Karhal constituency of Mainpuri in the 2022 assembly polls of Uttar Pradesh. Baghel’s nomination came as a surprise to many, as the five-time MP had filed his nominations from the Karhal assembly seat, which falls under the unreserved category. With this move, the BJP has decided to put an end to the long going speculations of ‘Choti bahu’ Aparna Yadav fighting on a BJP ticket against SP supremo.
Karhal, an assembly seat that falls under Mainpuri parliamentary seat, is known to have a strong Yadav base, the same reason that led Akhilesh Yadav to contest from there.
Satya Pal Singh Baghel joined the police force as a Sub-Inspector, much like his father who was an old loyal guard of the Madhya Pradesh police. Baghel used to be the security in charge of Mulayam Singh Yadav during his stint as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. And now Mulayam Singh Yadav faces contest from his former loyal guard. Baghel, who joined the police force as a sub-inspector, elevated his qualification, studied law and even achieved a PhD in Military Sciences.
Baghel’s Political Journey
Baghel, who is often touted as ‘A Man with Political Ambitions’ stepped into politics under the guidance of Ex CM Mulayam Singh Yadav. In the early 1990s, Baghel headed the Mulayam Singh Youth Brigade. He contested from Jalesar seat in 1998, 1999, 2004 on a Samajwadi Party ticket. But eventually, he had a fallout with the Yadav’s which made him switch to Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. BSP upped the game by fielding him against Akhilesh Yadav from Firozabad in the Lok Sabha Elections of 2009. Even after losing the seat, he was sent to Rajya Sabha by BSP supremo Mayawati.
In 2014, SP Singh Baghel in wake of the Modi wave joined hands with BJP after ditching BSP. He even contested the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. In 2015, Baghel was rewarded by the BJP High Command by making him the National President of OBC Morcha of the Bhartiya Janta Party. Hence, Baghel became the OBC face of BJP on the national level.
In 2017, Baghel contested from the Tundla assembly seat and became a minister in the Yogi government. In 2019, he became the Member of Parliament from Agra and in the latest; Baghel was made Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Karyakarta to Neta
Baghel is a politician who has reached the top, step by step with his persistent hard work. He started his career as a sub-inspector, gained several degrees, switched parties across the political spectrum to grab certain political clout that helped him to cement in. BJP has fielded such a leader against a second generation dynast Akhilesh Yadav clearly shows that the party ruling the nation for the last 7 years is stubborn enough in sweeping away the remnants of dynasty politics in India.
BJP has won 312 seats in the 2017 Assembly polls, out of which 101 was secured by OBC candidates. Non- Yadav OBCs like Kurmis and other samajs have voted for BJP in the last elections. After recent defections of OBC leaders from the BJP, there was a need to portray a big OBC face to appease the large support that the community offered to the party in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Hence, BJP fielded Baghel, who was the National President of the OBC morcha at that time.
SP Singh Baghel belongs to the ‘gadaria’ caste, and BJP believes that by fielding an SC candidate from a non-reserved seat, it will be able to woo the crucial non-Jatav voters, who have been a trusted vote-bank of the BJP.
Baghel, who has worked very closely with Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Samajwadi Party, knows how the Samajwadi Party functions on the ground and this can be the biggest setback for the Party as well as for the chief minister hopeful Akhilesh Yadav. Many Political analysts believe that Baghel will prove to be the ‘Vibhishan’ of the Samajwadi party in state assembly polls.