Samajwadi Party to replace 24 LS candidates

26 already replaced,changes based on feedback gathered by Mulayam.

Written by Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Published: October 18, 2013 1:38 am

Samajwadi Party is likely to change its candidates from nearly two dozen parliamentary constituencies after an internal feedback suggested that party will win only 15 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The party has already changed 26 out of the 77 candidates it had named. It is yet to announce candidates for Rampur,Amethi and Raebareli.

The new changes,to be announced soon,is based on the internal feedback that SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has been gathering from various party leaders who were asked to visit the constituencies “secretly”.

Most of them reported that SP will lose most of the seats — worst being Lucknow division where SP holds only two of nine LS seats but is unlikely to retain or gain any.

“Major changes are likely. We cannot leave anything to chance. Candidates not on strong footing have been told to shape up else they will be replaced,” a senior SP functionary said. Mulayam,has reportedly already told the candidates that he “will show no affection.”

SP calculations went awry,party insiders say,as BJP gained ground after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was named BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. However,officially,the party denies changing its strategy to tackle Modi factor.

“Modi can never be a challenge. His aura has deflated,” said Rajendra Choudhary,SP spokesperson.

But the daily meetings at SP office tell a different story. Six candidates have been changed in past 10 days by Mulayam — based on his meetings with party workers. In one of the meetings,on October 8,party workers told Mulayam that only a Yadav can contest against sitting BSP MP Kushal Tiwari from Sant Kabir Nagar and win. The next day,former MP Bhalchandra Yadav was named replacing Abdul Kalam from the seat.

The party is focusing on the 17 reserved constituencies in UP of which it holds 10. Among them it has denied ticket to is sitting MP Kamlesh Balmiki from Bulandshaher and Ghanshyam Anuragi from Jalaun. It has fielded new faces at Barabanki,Agra,Hathras,Lalganj seats it lost in 2009.

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