Lucknow: Samajwadi party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has declared his list of 325 candidates for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls. Addressing a press conference in Lucknow the Samajwadi chief said that the CM candidate will not be declared beforehand.
A scrutiny of the list suggests that 53 sitting legislators, including 45 that were proposed by Chief Minister Akhilesh, have not been given tickets. These including senior ministers and close aides of Akhilesh Yadav like Arvind Singh Gope, Minister for Rural Development, Pawan Pandey, Minister of state with Independent Charge for Entertainment Tax, and Ram Govind Chaudhary, Minister for Basic Education and Child Nutrition. Gope’s ticket has been awarded to Rakesh Verma son of senior party leader Beni Prasad Verma. Among incumbent legislators 126 were found their names in the list.
During the press conference Mualayam Singh further clarified that Samajwadi party will not enter into any pre-poll alliance and fight the election on its own. The Samajwadi supremo also added that his party will fight on the basis of development works of the past 5 years and a 2nd list of candidates for remaining 78 seats will be decided soon.
“I have not gone by any one list, many people had given lists, and I have gone by my choice,” added Mulayam Singh.
However, this declaration is at clear variance with Akhilesh Yadav’s previously indicated preference for an alliance with Congress for UP Assembly polls. The Chief Minister had said such a combine can win over 300 seats in the 403-member house.
The choice of candidates further cements the rift within the party with Akhilesh’s close aides being completely sidelined while all supporters of Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav ― Narad Rai, Ambika Chaudhary, Shadab Fatima, Omprakash Singh, Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh, Shiv Kumar Beriya, Yogesh Pratap Singh and Rajkishor Singh ― finding a place in the list.
Earlier Akhilesh had suspended these members from the party during the internecine war between the Chief Minister and his uncle, before they were reinstated by Mulayam Singh.
Rajkishor Singh’s brother Brij Kishor Singh “Dimple” and Aridaman Singh’s wife Pakshalika Singh have also been given tickets.
Ateek Ahmad from Kanpur and strongman Mukhtar Ansari’s brother from Sibagtullah were also included in the list. Ahmad, handpicked by Shivpal Yadav, faces 44 serious criminal charges including that of murder.