For a party which named nearly all its candidates from Uttar Pradesh for 2014 Lok Sabha elections months in advance,the ruling Samajwadi Party is now hit by resentment with many senior leaders now organising rallies and demonstrations against the party for being sidelined or overlooked while distributing tickets.
The SP has so far declared 77 candidates it is yet to announce candidates only for Rae Bareli,Amethi and Rampur. The party has already replaced at least 25 names leading to resentment among senior leaders even as the advantage of declaring the names early is getting lost.
Two of its candidates - former union minister Sompal Shastri from Baghpat and sitting MP Brijbhushan Sharan Singh from Kaiserganj - have refused to contest on party ticket.
On October 9,the party announced Matera (in Bahraich) MLA Yasir Shah as its candidate from Shrawasti Lok Sabha seat. Yasir is the son of ailing Labour Minister Waqar Ahmed Shah.
Even before Yasir could reach his constituency,Rakesh Yadav,the son of Minister of state for zoo,S P Yadav,took out a rally announcing himself as the official SP candidate from Shrawasti. People from Shrawasti met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and apprised him about our strong footing in the area. He has assured us of reconsidering the decision, S P Yadav said.
Local workers are in a dilemma,however,as both Rakesh and Yasir claim to be official candidates for the seat,which at present is held by Vinay Kumar Pandey of Congress.
Similar is the situation in Lalganj (reserved) parliamentary constituency,which is currently represented by Baliram of BSP.
SP first fielded Doodhnath Saroj from the seat before replacing him,within four months,by senior leader Daroga Prasad Saroj. Later Daroga was replaced by Lalganj MLA Bechai Saroj.
However,Daroga did not take it lying down and reached party office in Lucknow with hundreds of his supporters who raised slogans against the unwarranted change in the name of the candidates. Mulayam later assured Darogas supporters that the party will reconsider its decision. Amidst the uncertainty,the SPs local unit stands divided.
Another party leader,Ramkumar alias Chinku Yadav,who had unsuccessfully contested last years Assembly election from Domriyaganj,met Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav staking claim to the Domriyaganj LS seat.
After getting a positive response,Chinku Yadav started his campaign. On the other hand,Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey,who has been fielded from the seat by the party is facing a tough time convincing the workers that he still remains the official candidate.
The matter was referred to Mulayam after which the party issued a clarification stressing that Pandey remains the official candidate. But the damage has been done and Pandey is being treated as dummy candidate by SP workers.
In Farrukhabad,SP initially fielded Sachin Yadav,the son of Minister of state for homeguards Narendra Singh Yadav,in February only to replace him in July by Aliganj (in Etah district) MLA Rameshwar Yadav.
Rameshwar is relative of SP national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav and has thus sidelined Sachin in Farrukhabad. The result,minister Narendra Singh Yadav is keeping himself away from the party and skipped even a function attended by Ramgopal Yadav in Farrukhabad.
At Agra,SP candidate and former MLA Dr Rajendra Singh,who was fielded from Fatehpur Sikri only to be replaced by Rani Pakshalika Singh,the wife of Minister for stamps and registration Raja Aridaman Singh,has opened a front against the party.