WITH A year still to go to Assembly polls in UP, the ruling Samajwadi Party on Friday released its first list of 142 candidates. The SP had lost 140 of these 142 seats in the 2012 state elections. Later, it lost the two remaining seats as well in bypolls.
In the list, which includes two MLAs of Peace Party and an Independent, the party has replaced 85 candidates who had contested the elections in 2012.
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Peace Party MLA Aneesur Rehman (Kanth in Moradabad) and Yusuf Malik (Domariyaganj in Sidharth Nagar) have been given tickets from same constituencies. Independent MLA Vijay Singh, who had won from Farrukhabad in 2012, too has been fielded from the same seat.
While releasing the list, state minister Shivpal Yadav said the remaining seats will be declared soon after it was cleared by party president Mulayam Singh Yadav. “We have lost on these seats. Another 26 seats, which SP had lost in 2012, will also be declared soon. Any change can be made in the list only after permission from our national president,” he added.
Shivpal hinted that nearly 100 sitting SP MLAs may not be given tickets. “We are considering this… Soon, a decision will be taken,” he said. He denied that the party would try to poach leaders from other parties, stating “that there is no dearth of candidates in SP”.
Significant SP leaders, who have succeeded in getting tickets for their sons include state Minister Rampal Rajvanshi (son Manoj Kumar Rajvanshi would contest from Hargaon in Sitapur), Bhalchandra Yadav (son Subodh Yadav has been fielded from Khalialbad), former minister Reoti Raman Singh (son Ujjawal Raman Singh would contest from Karchana) and Mulayam loyalist K C Pandey (son Anoop Pandey would fight from Rudauli in Basti).
In Shamli, the ticket has been given to Manish Chauhan, whose father Virender Singh is an MLC and had lost as the SP candidate from same seat in 2012.
While former cricketer Jyoti Yadav has been given ticket from Allahabad West and Atul Pradhan from Sardhana, former minister Ambika Choudhary would contest from Phephna in Ballia, from where he had lost in 2012. Ramdarshan has been given ticket from Mubarakpur, the only seat in Azamgarh that SP had lost in the last polls.
Another significant leader given ticket is Umar Ali Khan from Behat in Saharanpur. Umar is the son-in-law of Delhi’s Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari. Umar is currently a SP MLC and had lost from Behat in 2012. Meanwhile, within a few hours of declaring the list, SP changed its candidate from Rampur Maniharan in Saharanpur, replacing Vishwadayal Chotan with former MLA Vimla Rakesh.
Former minister Sanjay Garg, who had recently lost a bypoll, has been fielded again from Saharanpur Nagar. Rudrasen Choudhary, son of late Gujar leader Yashpal Choudhary, has also been again fielded from Gangoh.
In Muzaffarnagar district, Mukesh Kumar Choudhary — who was replaced as candidate in the recent MLC polls — has been fielded from Charthawal. The party has fielded its women wing president Shweta Singh from Lucknow East, replacing 2012 candidate Juhi Singh.
Meanwhile, SP on Friday had initially declared Shahnawaz Rana as the candidate from Meerapur in Muzaffarnagar. However, the candidature of Rana — who did not contest MLC polls despite being given a ticket — was soon withdrawn. The new candidate would be declared later.
Youth leader Naeemul Hasan has been fielded from Noorpur in Bijnaur, His ticket was cancelled at the last moment in the 2012 polls.
Three leaders, who had been given minister of state status after their appointment in various government bodies have also been given tickets. They are Tarabuddin from Chaprauli, Sahib Singh from Badaut and Kuldeep Ujjawal from Baghpat. From Shahjahanpur, municipal board chairman Tanveer Ahmed Khan would contest.
The SP has also relied on party hoppers. From Fatehpur Sikri, Raj Kumar Chahar has been fielded. He has a following in the region and was placed second as an Independent in the 2012 polls. Anil Kumar Verma has been fielded from Laharpur. He had contested the 2012 polls as a Congress candidate from the same seat.
From Bilgram-Mallawa, Subhash Pal, who had contested as Peace Party candidate in 2012, has been given a ticket. Ramesh Kumar, who had contested the last polls as Congress candidate from Mahrauni, would contest from the same seat again.
Leaders who have been denied tickets include Rani Pakshalika Singh from Khairagarh. Pakshalika is the wife of former minister Raja Aridaman Singh, who had won Bah — the lone seat in Agra for SP — in 2012. Chandrabhushan Bundela of Lalitpur has also been denied ticket.
Overall, the list includes 28 Muslims, 18 Yadavs, 15 Thakurs, 11 Brahmins, six candidates each from Gujar, Kurmi and Jat communities, 23 Schedule Castes and 14 Other Backward Castes.