CM releases list of 235 candidates; is SP heading towards a split?

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Akhilesh-Yadav

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on December 30 called for a Samajwadi Party core group meeting at his residence on Kalidas Marg in Lucknow.

The meet is to be held shortly and is expected to see the participation of both, senior leaders and young leaders.

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav too has called a meeting of all candidates who have been allotted tickets on December 30, even as the party was facing a crisis over ticket distribution.

On Thursday, Akhilesh released a list of 235 candidates out of a total of 403 seats for the upcoming assembly elections giving all indications that the party was heading towards a split. The CM announced the list of candidates that includes 171 sitting MLAs,  after his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had released the official list a day earlier.

By coming out against Mulayam, the CM seems to have made up his mind to split the party and contest the polls on his own. His list is seen as an effort to pressurise his father into reconsidering the candidacy of his key aides

Earlier, Akhilesh had met Mulayam, who released a list of 325 official candidates, to pressurise him to make changes in the list announced by him. On December 29, his brother Shivpal Yadav had named 68 more candidates, which included some Akhilesh loyalists, but the CM was not satisfied.

If Mulayam and Shivpal Yadav don’t heed to Akhilesh, he is ready to go his separate way. In case of a split, he has also kept in readiness his faction’s list of candidates up against SP official candidates in many constituencies, moving the Election Commission to apply for a symbol and to get the SP’s cycle symbol frozen.

The CM’s list includes those who are loyal to Akhilesh and who didn’t make it to the party’s official list. The rebels have been directed to go back to their constituencies and prepare to contest polls.

The SP’s internal strife gives an added advantage to the BJP and Mayawati’s BSP in the assembly polls for Uttar Pradesh.