REBEL SAMAJWADI Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav, who has floated a new outfit, ‘Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party’, Tuesday announced 31 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. Many in the list have been with Samajwadi Party for long and one of them, Aruna Kumari Kori, who has been fielded from the reserved Mishrikh seat, was a minister in the previous Akhilesh Yadav-led government.
“As many as 29 of the 31 people named today have been associated with the SP in the past,” claimed PSP spokesperson Deepak Mishra.
The list include Shivpal’s name as well, though he had announced his candidature from Firozabad weeks back. SP general secretary and Shivpal’s cousin, Ram Gopal Yadav’s son Akshay Yadav, who is also sitting MP, is contesting from same seat.
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Among the candidates declared today, Aruna Kori had been Women and Child Welfare Minister in the previous Akhilesh Yadav-led government and has contested two Vidhan Sabha elections on SP ticket – from Bilhaur in 2012 which she had won and from Rasoolabad in 2017 which she lost. Speaking to The Indian Express, Kori said she left the party because she did not agree with the new policies. “PSP has become the new SP. I joined the PSP because I wanted to continue working with Shivpal ji and Mulayam ji,” she said.
On Tuesday, Shivpal Yadav also talked to media persons and announced an alliance named ‘Progressive Democratic Alliance’ and also that Peace Party is now part of this alliance Peace Party chief Dr Ayub was also there with Shivpal.
Ayub and SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav, so far, have been speaking that Peace Party was part of the SP-BSP alliance.
Ayub said that he would have liked to be part of the SP’s alliance with the BSP and RLD, but Akhilesh did not clarify what Peace Party’s role in the alliance would be. “Dates for nominations are here. He (Akhilesh) has still not told us what our role will be. You should ask him why he did not take our party along. We could not have waited any longer,”he said.
The ‘Progressive Democratic Alliance’ also includes Krishna Patel’s Apna Dal faction. PSP spokesperson Deepak Mishra said that the Apna Dal had written to the PSP extending its support. “We will support them and won’t field candidates from where they are contesting,” Mishra said.
Apna Dal’s Krishna Patel had recently met Congress president Rahul Gandhi, general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia in Delhi where the Congress had announced an alliance with her party with giving them two seats – Pilibhit and Gonda.
Asked if there was a possibility of PSP joining hands with the Congress, Shivpal said, “We are open to all those who want to be part of the alliance with us and defeat the BJP.”