With Assembly elections just a year away, the Samajwadi Party has deputed its ministers and other leaders in three assembly constituencies going for bypoll next month to ensure victory of its candidates and prevent any unfavourable results that could send an adverse message across the state.
The ministers will camp in these assembly seats and co-ordinate the election with the SP candidate and local unit.
They will also be responsible for giving feedback to the party leadership besides leading the poll battle unitedly. The ministers will also man the booth-level committees to win elections.
The three assembly seats — Bikapur in Faizabad, Deoband in Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar — were all previously held by SP and fell vacant after the death of MLA Mitrasen Yadav, MoS (independent charge) Rajender Singh, Rana and MoS Chitranjan Swaroop, respectively.
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The Election Commission of India has announced January 20 as date of issuing notification while polling would be held on February 13.
SP’s state secretary and MLC S R S Yadav informed that Dairy Development Minister Rammurti Verma, Mining Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and MoS for Food and Civil Supplies Lakshmikant alias Pappu Nishad have been deputed for Bikapur seat.
Tourism Minister Om Prakash Singh, Labour Minister Shahid Manzoor and MLC Virender Singh Gujar have been given the charge of Deoband seat.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kamal Akhtar, Chairman of Fisheries Development Corporation Rajpal Kashyap, Advisor in Prison Department Ayub Ansari —both having MoS status —and member of SP’s state executive committee Pradeep Dixit have been assigned the Muzaffarnagar seat.
“Letters from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have been sent to these minister assigning them their duties. If there is any requirement from any seat we will depute more leaders and ministers from Lucknow. We are confident of winning these three seats,” Yadav told The Indian Express.
In his letter dated January 14, Akhilesh has asked the ministers to reach their assigned assembly seat and manage the polls for the victory of SP candidate. He has also asked them to submit a list of other leaders required for the polls in their area so that they can also be directed to reach the respective assembly seat.
SP has declared Gaurav Swaroop from Muzaffarnagar, Anandsen Yadav from Bikapur and Meena Devi from Deoband seat to contest in the bypolls.
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), too, has sprung a surprise by fielding its state president Munna Singh Chauhan from Bikapur seat, and plans to contest from the other 2 seats as well. RLD chief Ajit Singh visited Bikapur on Saturday.
Though BSP will not contest the bypolls, BJP candidates have already been announced.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), which is contesting the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh for the first time, will contest only from Muzaffarnagar and Bikapur.