SIBGHATULLAH ANSARI, brother of jailed don and QED leader Mukhtar Ansari, and BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui’s brother Hasnuddin are among the 23 candidates named by the ruling Samajwadi Party on Saturday for the state elections next year. With this, the party has so far declared 175 candidates. SP state president Shivpal Yadav, who replaced candidates on nine seats announced earlier, fielded mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed from Kanpur Cantonment in place of Haji Pervej. In 2013, Ahmed had taken SP membership and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls unsuccessfully from Shrawasti.
On the other hand, state Minister Azam Khan’s younger son Abdullah Azam has been given a ticket from Swar in his home district Rampur. Azam’s wife Tazeen Fatma is already a Rajya Sabha member. Local SP leaders said Abdullah has been taking part in party activities for the last few months. When asked, Shivpal denied promoting dynasty by giving ticket to Abdullah.
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Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sibghatullah has been fielded from Mohammadabad in Ghazipur, a seat he had won in the 2012 UP polls on a QED ticket. Recently, QED had merged with SP, allegedly a major reason behind the recent friction between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal. Hasanuddin Siddiqui, the younger brother of BSP’s Muslim face Naseemuddin Siddiqui, has been given ticket from his native district Banda. Hasanuddin had quit his job in the Railways in 2011 and joined SP. This will be his first election. Asked about Naseemuddin, Hasanuddin said: “It is matter of faith in different ideologies. I have been inspired by the ideologies of SP, so, I joined the party.” He has replaced Kamal Singh Maurya from Banda.
Genda Lal Yadav has been fielded from Barhaj in Deoria, replacing sitting MLA Prem Prakash Singh. “Prem Prakash has been spending more time in Uttarakhand, which could be the reason why he was replaced,” said a party leader. Moreover, SP has also changed its candidate from Rudrapur seat in Deoria. Anugrah Narain Singh alias Khokha Singh, a former MLA, has replaced Pradeep Yadav. For Budhana seat, SP has declared Kanwar Hasan as the candidate after sitting MLA Nawazish Alam Khan joined BSP three months ago. In Muzaffarnagar, the party has again fielded Gaurav Swaroop, who had lost a bypoll against BJP earlier this year. He is the son of late minister Chitranjan Swaroop.