Uttar Pradesh CM and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on January 20 released a list of 191 candidates, which will go to Assembly polls in the first three phases in the state beginning February 11.
As many as 52 Muslim and 18 women candidates are included in the list. The party has fielded candidates from seats, which have sitting Congress MLAs. Last heard, the two parties are sparring over Amethi and Lucknow Cantonment seats.
He has also fielded his uncle Shivpal from Jaswant Nagar in Etawah, who is not happy about the seat chosen for him and has run crying to Mulayam Singh Yadav. That Akhilesh has fielded Shivpal speaks volumes of the bonhomie between the father and son.
After the Election Commission recognised Akhilesh as SP national president on January 16 and granted his faction the use of the party’s ‘bicycle’ symbol, his father handed him over a list of 38 candidates, including Shivpal, whom he wanted in the list of candidates.
There is uncertainty over the fate of the SP-Congress alliance. Senior party leader Kironmay Nanda said his party was ready to give 84 to 85 seats for the Congress, which has made it clear it will settle for nothing less than 120 to 125 seats. It was at last decided in the party that it will contest 300 of UP’s 403 seats, with the rest allotted to the Congress.
It is not immediately clear whether Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, with it base in western UP, will fight the polls with the Congress.
Akhilesh’s January 20 list corrects an earlier list his father had released last month, which had left out several of the CM’s key aides, including Atul Pradhan and Arvind Singh Gope among others.
The list also includes Vijay Singh, main accused in BSP leader Brahmdutt Dwivedi’s murder, who has been fielded from Farrukhabad. Mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, who was given a ticket by Shivpal from Kanpur Cantt, has been replaced by Mohd Hasan Rumi.