Raju Srivastava, actor and standup comedian whom the Samajwadi Party had fielded from Kanpur, said Tuesday he has “returned” the ticket as his supporters were being threatened by those of other claimants to the seat. He said the top SP leadership was not taking cognisance of complaints he had been making.
The SP, however, says it is the party that has “cancelled” his candidature as he was “not taking it seriously”.
Srivstava told The Indian Express, “It seems there are several claimants to the ticket. My supporters were being threatened by them. They pulled down my hoardings. Those who were with me during the cycle yatra were threatened. I brought this to the notice of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav… Perhaps they are too busy.”
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He added, “I think I am better off making people laugh.”
He said he has no plans to join any other party and contest the elections.
In the evening, SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav issued a press release stating that Srivastava has been replaced with Surendra Mohan Aggrawal.
SP spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said Srivastava’s ticket had been cancelled a few days ago. “The party had made Srivastava its candidate from Kanpur. But he was not taking his candidature seriously. Instead of working in the constituency, he was spending his time in Mumbai, due to which his ticket was cancelled some days ago,” Chowdhury said.