The run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has given the Indian electorate a taste of the strengths and weaknesses of the different campaigners, but none has managed to impress as much as Dimple Yadav, wife of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. From a rather slippery start in politics, she has come a long way and emerged as a star campaigner.
Few years ago after electing to the Lok Sabha, she had a faltered entry in politics. Her first scripted speech in Lok Sabha was such a disaster that it went viral on YouTube as ‘Dimple Yadav’s hilarious mistakes in Parliament’. Dimple fumbled a dozen times, apparently for her inexperience in public speaking.
But today, surprising many seasonal politician she has emerged as a key political figure of the country. Right from playing crucial role in finalising SP-Congress alliance, by establishing wonderful rapport with Priyanka Gandhi, preparing ground for joint poll campaign by Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi, the 2017 assembly election is Uttar Pradesh has seen Dimple emerge as the star campaigner of Samajwadi Party.
She has also commanded more spotlight than many seasoned leaders across political parties. It may not be exaggerating when her husband AKhilesh says “Now, she draws more crowd than me, more applause than me.”
Dimple, 39, wasn’t just the top woman campaigner, leaving former Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati behind in election tours and rallies. She also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and turned BJP chief Amit Shah’s metaphorical ‘Kasab’, an acronym for the Hindi pronunciation of Congress-SP-BSP, on its head. Her version of ‘Kasab’, underlining peaceful coexistence, prevented Shah from using it often.