SP’s first list of 191 candidates out, Shivpal, Azam Khan’s son, Naresh Agrawal’s son get tickets

Shivpal Yadav, former state president, has been allocated a ticket from Jaswantnagar constituency.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 20, 2017 3:24 pm
samajwadi party, SP candidate list, UP election, UP election 2017, SP election 2017, shivpal yadav, azam khan, akhilesh yadav, mulayam singh, congress A Samajwadi (SP) party worker holds a toy bicycle representing the party’s symbol and a poster of chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav, following the Election Commission’s decision to allot the bicycle symbol in Akhilesh’s favour, outside the party’s headquarters in Lucknow, India, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) released its first list of 191 candidates for the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh. The candidate list covers the first three phases of polling on February 11, February 15 and February 19. Both the BJP and the BSP have announced their candidate lists for the first phase of elections.

Former state president Shivpal Yadav, also the arch-rival of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, has been allocated ticket from Jaswantnagar from where he was victorious in 2012. The constituency falls in Etawah district and covers Saifai, the native village of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

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Some of the other leaders who have been allocated tickets include Arvind Singh Gop, Naresh Agrawal’s son Nitin Agrawal (Hardoi), Azam Khan’s son Abdullah Azam (Suar), Hassan Rumi (Kanpur Cantt), Sunil Choudhary (Noida) and Gaurav Swaroop (Muzaffarnagar). Gop has replaced Beni Prasad Verma’s son Rakesh Verma, earlier expected to be fielded. The candidate list has covered much of the seats in the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Hapur, Aligarh, Mathura, Saharanpur and Bijnor.

While earlier reports indicated the SP will contest on 300+ seats in the 403-member state assembly, senior leader Kironmay Nanda said Friday that talks with the Congress are not final. Both Ghulam Nabi Azad and Akhilesh had said that an alliance with the Congress would be announced soon.

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It is unclear whether Ajit Singh’s RLD, which has its base in western UP going to polls in the first phase, will ally with the Congress now that the SP candidate list for the region is out. The SP was reported to be apprehensive that an alliance with the RLD will hurt its Muslim voter base in western UP. The RLD’s support base, consisting mainly of Jats, have been at conflict with Muslims after the riots in Muzaffarnagar.

In the 2012 elections, while the SP got a clear majority with 224 seats, the Congress and RLD fell way short with wins in 28 and 9 seats respectively.