Senior Samajwadi Party leader and cabinet minister Shivpal Yadav on Monday released a list of 61 candidates for elections to the zila panchayat chairman seats in the state. The list, which figures relatives of several UP ministers, MLAs and ruling party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s nephew, has only three Muslim names.
The most prominent name is that of Abhishek Yadav alias Anshul, who will contest from Etawah district. Earlier, the post was held by Abhishek’s mother Premlata Yadav. Abhishek is the son of Mulayam’s younger brother Rajpal Yadav and was declared elected unopposed as the district development council (DDC) member.
In Mainpuri, the pocket borough of the ruling Yadav family, the party has fielded former MLA Anil Yadav’s son Rahul.
Party legislator Ajit Kumar’s wife Sugna Katheria will contest from Farrukhabad, while in Azamgarh, Mulayam’s Lok Sabha seat, the ticket has been given to forest minister Durga Prasad Yadav’s nephew Pramod.
In Gorakhpur, SP turned down the application of BJP MLA Vijay Yadav who had requested for fielding his brother Ajay Yadav. Earlier, to prove that he was loyal to the ruling party, Vijay had reached the SP office and presented a copy of his resignation letter from BJP. However, it failed to cut water with the leadership, which finally picked up Geetanjali Yadav for the seat. Geetanjali is wife of Manoranjan Yadav, a youth leader considered close to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Similarly, in Meerut, another Akhilesh aide, Atul Pradhan, who is state president of SP’s Students’ wing, has managed to get the ticket for his wife Seema Pradhan. Seema is pitted against against minister Shahid Manzoor’s son Nawazish.
Animal husbandry minister Raj Kishore Singh’s son Devendra Singh Shanu has been fielded in Basti, while in Amroha, the ticket has been granted to minister Mehboob Ali’s wife Saikna Begum.
In Ghaziabad, MLC Ashu Malik’s brother Noor Hasan Malik has got the ticket while in Baghpat, Sahib Singh, who enjoys minister of state status, got the nod for fielding his wife Mithilesh Chaudhary. In Shamli, party has fielded MLC Virendra Singh’s daughter-in-law Shefali Chauhan.
In Kushinagar, the ticket has been granted to Harish Kumar Rana, the son of party MLA Puranmasi Dehati.
The district development council members elect the chairman of zila panchayat from among themselves.