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SP third list Gayatri Prajapati’s wife to contest from Amethi

Last November, a special court had sentenced Prajapati and two others to life imprisonment in a 2017 rape case.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
January 26, 2022 5:32:58 am
Gayatri Prasad Prajapati

The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Tuesday announced 39 more candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections. Among the names is former minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati’s wife Maharaji Devi who has been fielded from Amethi.

Last November, a special court had sentenced Prajapati and two others to life imprisonment in a 2017 rape case. Prajapati, who was the mining minister from 2013 to 2016 and later held the transport portfolio, was arrested on March 15, 2017, and has been in jail since then. Prajapati had won the seat in 2012. In the last elections, the BJP’s Garima Singh won from the constituency.

In recent days, the party has faced repeated attacks from the BJP that has accused it of having in its ranks leaders with criminal records. The ruling party’s targets have been leaders such as Azam Khan, Abdullah and Nahid Hasan, who is a two-time Kairana MLA.

The Akhilesh Yadav-led party has also fielded Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) defector and MLA Hakim Chandra Bind from Handia in Prayagraj district, and former BJP leader and MLA Madhuri Verma from Nanpara in Bahraich district. While Bind joined the SP in October after the BSP suspended him along with six other MLAs following the Rajya Sabha elections, Verma switched over from the BJP earlier this month. Bind had won the Handia seat in 2017 by 8,526 votes whereas Verma’s victory margin was 18,669 votes.

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Meanwhile, the SP has again fielded Pawan Pandey from Ayodhya. Pandey, who was a minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government that was in power from 2012 to 2017, lost the last election from Ayodhya by 50,440 votes to the BJP’s Ved Prakash Gupta. In 2012, he had defeated the BJP’s Lallu Singh by 5,405 votes.

This was the SP’s third list. On Monday, the party had announced the names of 159 candidates, including party president Akhilesh Yadav (Karhal), jailed MP Azam Khan (Rampur), his son Abdullah Azam Khan (Suar), and Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav (Jaswantnagar). On January 13, the SP-RLD alliance had announced the first set of 29 candidates for western UP seats. The RLD was allocated 19 of those seats.

On Sunday, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) led by Om Prakash Rajbhar, another ally, had announced the first candidate for the SP-led alliance in eastern UP. The party has fielded Sunil Arskvanshi from the Sandila seat in Hardoi district.

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