The defeat of Dimple Yadav, the young daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to Bollywood actorturned-politician Raj Babbar in the Firozabad Lok Sabha by-election was a writing on the wall.
Amar Singh could not think of anything bigger than flying in his all-time favourites Jaya Prada, Jaya Bachchan and of course Sanjay Dutt -- to woo Firozabad voters for Dimple.
What Amar Singh apparently failed to realize that barring Dutt, the two Jayas seemed to have lost their charisma long ago. And whatever aura, Dutt could create was washed away with the arrival of Salman Khan and Govinda for Babbar's campaign.
There was no doubt that Mulayam's son Akhilesh, who was also the state SP president, had devoted all his energies to ensure a "thumping victory" for his better half. However, what he failed to see was the undercurrent reflecting disillusionment of the people, who had elected him to the Lok Sabha from here.
Elected from both Firozabad and Kannauj, Akhilesh chose to retain Kannauj, leaving the locals disappointed .And that came in handy for Babbar, who succeeded in impressing upon the electorate that he was there to stay and would not betray them. He also had a convincing reason behind his decision to switch over from Agra to Firozabad .
"Having lost the last Lok Sabha poll from Agra, this was the only place I could think of as an alternative home next door", he told the people. And the explanation paid well, since he had actually spent his youth in Tundla t hat was now a part of the Firozabad LS seat.
He was also in a position to concretely showcase what he had done for Agra in his capacity as MP earlier.
"My promises are not hollow and you can see for yourself what I succeeded I doing for Agra", he went about telling the crowds.
The advantage of his being a nominee of the party that runs the Central government was also repeatedly conveyed to the people. People were heard talking during the campaign that even if Dimple were to get elected, she would not be able to deliver anything for the good of the people as none saw any hope of SP's return to power in the near future.
Furthermore, a hostile BSP regime would thwart every move for Firozabad's development, especially if the constituency had a Mulayam kin to represent its case.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi's plunge into Babbar's campaign further reinforced the faith of locals that once elected, the latter would have the potential to push Firozabad's case for grant of special central schemes or grants. Sure enough that gave a big boost to his graph .
While all these factors combined to set the pace for Babbar's smooth win, what accelerated Dimple's defeat was the complacence on the part of the entire SP leadership. Known to be taking the final call on most internal matters of the party, Amar Singh was believed to have taken Dimple's victory as a foregone conclusion.
Sure enough, not only the family, but even other top leaders in the party took it for granted that there was nothing to obstruct Dimple's smooth sail in the election.
While Dimple depended more on "uncles" and "aunts", Babbar concentrated more on a door-to-door campaign. He also refrained from uttering anything against Dimple, whose uncles and aunts only went about running him down. Sure enough, all that also proved counter-productive, landing the young Yadav daughter-in-law to face a devastative defeat by a whopping 85,000 votes.