In 2012, the Samajwadi Party's agenda was to woo the youth and Akhilesh Yadav, then 38, became the icon of the party. This time around women voters could very well be the party's agenda and the party has an in-house (quite literally) star campaigner in Dimple Yadav. The youth-centred campaigning in 2012 did wonders for the party with Akhilesh being seen as the future, not just of the party, but the state of Uttar Pradesh as well.
This time around the party is all set to highlight Dimple as their star campaigner with eyes set on women voters. In the case of an alliance with the Congress, Uttar Pradesh is all set to see another woman campaigner in Priyanka Gandhi.
The SP, marred by controversies of a family feud, is in dire need of an effective campaign. With public opinion towards the party already taking a hit, Dimple is all set to become the face of the party to woo women voters and take away public attention from the feud.
Caption: Samajwadi Party MPs Dimple Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav at Parliament House in New Delhi. All photos: PTI
Taking a fancy
Most youngsters in UP have taken a fancy to Akhilesh's ways of functioning and engagement on social media. While he is a hit on the social media, most do not know that his pages are closely monitored by wife Dimple, who contributed greatly to his image makeover after the Muzaffarnagar riots.
Caption: Dimple waves to the supporters during a road show at Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh.
Dimple, in recent times, has been prominently seen in many public rallies. She led the campaign in 2014 parliamentary polls for the SP in select constituencies, clearly sending out a message that she is a face that the voters connect to.
Caption: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav talks to Vidya Balan as MP Dimple Yadav looks on.
Face of campaign
The BSP and the BJP have a lot to look out for if Dimple Yadav becomes the face of campaigning for the SP in Uttar Pradesh. With Akhilesh's youth connect and Dimple striking a cord with the women voters, Mayawati's BSP and the BJP are likely to have a new challenge ahead of them.
Caption: Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav with his wife and Lok Sabha MP Dimple Yadav release info booklets at the launch of ‘Mother and Child health year 2015-16'.