The Congress has decided to leave 11 Lok Sabha seats in western UP for its alliance partners, while one is a known partner, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), another is a little-known political outfit Mahan Dal, which claims its presence in most backward castes like Shakyas, Mauryas and Kushwahas.
The Congress’s alliance with Mahan Dal is significant as even the Bharatiya Janta Party was in touch with given that the outfit has presence among “non-Yadavs” and “non-Lodh” voters in the region.
UPCC communication department chairman Satyadev Tripathi confirmed that eight seats have been left for RLD and three for Mahan Dal. Eights seats are being left for RLD, with which the party had entered into an alliance before the 2012 UP Assembly elections.
The Lok Sabha seats in three Samajwadi Party stronholds — Etah, Nagina and Badaun — will be left for Mahan Dal. While Etah is represented by senior BJP leader Kalyan Singh, Badaun and Nagina are represented by SP’s Dharmendra Yadav and Yashvir Singh, respectively.
It is for this reason that Congress has decided to shift Saleem Iqbal Sherwani, who had got about two lakh votes against Dharmendra Yadav in Badaun in 2009, to Aonla in its first list of 48 Lok Sabha candidates for UP.
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The eight seats, which the party has decided to leave for RLD, include Fatehpur Sikri, Kairana, Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Mathura, Hathras, Bijnore and Amroha.
Baghpat is represented by RLD chief Ajit Singh while Mathura is represented by his son, Jayant Chaudhary.
While Congress has not fielded any candidate in Mainpuri and Kannauj, represented by Mulayam and daughter-in-law Dimple, respectively, sources said the party is watching the move of SP leadership in Amethi and Rae Bareli.
When asked about Mainpuri and Kannauj, Tripathi said, “No decision has been taken yet.”
Meanwhile, in the list of 48 Lok sabha candidates for UP, significant names include 18 out of 22 sitting MPs.
While sitting MP from Domariyaganj Jagdambika Pal has left the party, Congress MP from Sultanpur Sanjay Singh was recently sent to Rajya Sabha from Assam, Other two MPs, Azharuddin and Raj Babbar, were seeking change of seats.
In place of Sanjay Singh, his wife Amita, the former MLA from Amethi, has been given party ticket from Sultanpur. Four sitting MLAs have been given tickets. They include Vivek Singh from Banda, Sanjay Kapoor from Pilibhit, Kazim Ali Khan from Rampur and Sanjay Jaiswal from Basti.
In another significant move, Congress has fielded cricketer Mohd Kaif, a native of Allahabad, from Phulpur and Bhojpuri star Ravi Kishan has been declared party candidate from Jaunpur.