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Pallavi Patel is SP’s bet against UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya in Sirathu

Former minister and senior OBC leader Swami Prasad Maurya, who quit the BJP to join the SP last month, will be contesting from Fazilnagar in Kushinagar, which is not his traditional seat.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow |
Updated: February 3, 2022 5:24:09 am
pAllavi Patel, Samajwadi Party, UP polls, Uttar Pradesh assmebly elections, Keshav Prasad Maurya, UP news, India news, indian expressUttar Pradesh deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya (File)

The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Wednesday fielded Union minister Anupriya Patel’s elder sister Pallavi Patel from Sirathu in Kaushambi district against Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, and said that former minister Swami Prasad Maurya would contest from  Fazilnagar in Kushinagar district.

Patel is among the 15 candidates whose names the SP announced. Though she is from Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), which her mother Krishna Patel formed a few years ago following differences with Anupriya, she will contest using ally SP’s symbol. Anupriya’s Apna Dal (Sonelal) is in alliance with the  BJP, and has fielded eight candidates till now.

Sirathu comes under the Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency that Sonelal Patel, the sisters’ father, had once won. Considering the presence of a sizeable number of Patel (Kurmi caste) voters, Pallavi is expected to give a tough fight to Maurya. However, sources in the SP said local cadre were unhappy with Pallavi’s candidature since the district unit wanted the ticket to go to Anand Mohan Patel who had lost the seat to Keshav Prasad Maurya in the 2012 election. At the time, Anand Mohan was in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He joined the SP a few years ago and was preparing to contest from the constituency.

“Pallavi has never visited Sirathu. She is a new face here. Still, the party will make all efforts to make her successful,” said SP’s district unit chief Dayashankar Yadav who had party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday to discuss local leaders’ opinions on possible candidates.

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Meanwhile, Swami Prasad Maurya, who switched over from the BJP last month, will not contest from his traditional seat Padrauna in Kushinagar, and has been moved to Fazilnagar. So far, the SP has not given a ticket to his son Utkrist Maurya, who lost the last election from Unchahar on a BJP ticket.

The SP has also fielded former minister Abhishek Mishra from Sarojini Nagar in Lucknow, moving him away from the Lucknow North seat he lost in the last election. He will be up against the BJP’s Rajrajeshwar Singh who was the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) joint director. Singh took early retirement from the agency and announced his entry into politics on Monday. An encounter specialist during his time with the state police, Singh joined the ED in 2007. He investigated high-profile cases such as the 2G scam, Sahara case, CWG case, Aircel Maxis deal case, and the INX Media case.

Among the other candidates are RP Yadav (Rae Bareli), Anil Pradhan Patel (Chitrakoot), Vir Singh Patel (Manikpur), Vijma Yadav (Pratappur), Amarnath Maurya (Allahabad West), Raish Chandra Shukla (Allahabad South), Gaurav Rawat (Jaidpur), Ram Magan Rawat (Haidergarh), Mohd Ramzan (Matera), Masood Alam Khan (Kaiserganj), Indrani Verma (Bhinga), and Mohd Aslam Raini (Shrawasti).

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