Samajwadi Party leaders, including ministers and MLAs, have been registering protest before the top leadership over not finding the names of their relatives in the list of 61 candidates declared by the party for zila panchayat chairman elections.
Over last six days, after the list was declared, party had to drop at least two candidates — both relatives of ministers — from the list. Several aspirants have already given representation to the top leaders and even paraded zila panchayat members in front of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav demanding changes in the list.
The first replacement was done on December 16 in Amroha district where the ruling party dropped Sakina Begum, the wife of minister Mehboob Ali, replacing her with Renu Choudhary. Sources claimed that the change was effected due to intervention of minister Kamaal Akhtar, who is also from Amroha, and former MP Devendra Nagpal.
Minister Parasnath Yadav reached Delhi with several zila panchayat members and paraded them before Mulayam claiming their support for his son Om Yadav, who is an aspirant aspiring for zila panchayat chairmanship in Jaunpur district. In the original list, the ticket was allotted to Rajkumar Yadav, who is reported to be close to local minister Shailendra Yadav Lalai. Party is yet to take a call on the issue.
After that the floodgates opened.
From Faizabad, a delegation of party leaders, including local minister Tej Narain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey, and SP’s district unit president Jaishanker Pandey reportedly met senior minister Shivpal Yadav demanding that party candidate Shweta Singh be replaced.
Their reason: Shweta is a new entrant in the party.
Another delegation from Unnao demanded the replacement of Jyoti Rawat as party candidate on grounds that she is the wife of former MP J P Rawat, who has been in the BSP in the past. The delegation had met Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and given their representation in favour of party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s wife Sangita Singh Sengar.
In Mulayam’s parliamentary constituency Azamgarh, SP had to replace its candidate Pramod Yadav, who is nephew of minister Durga Yadav, and field Meera Yadav after immense pressure from party district unit. Meera’s father-in-law, Hawaldar Yadav, is SP’s district unit president of Azamgarh.
The ruling party is under pressure from local units in at least a dozen districts to replace their candidates. Top on the list is Barabanki where Yadav leaders claim that both Barabanki and adjoining Faizabad districts have got Thakur candidates, which will not go down well with the traditional voters of SP. The party has fielded minister Arvind Singh Gope’s brother Ashok Singh in Barabanki.
Another replacement is likely on Bijnor seat where Neelam Paras, wife of former minister Manoj Paras, is the party candidate while local MLA Ruchi Veera is demanding the ticket for her husband Udyan Veera.