Just two days after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav displayed a show of unity through a combined road show in Lucknow, a tussle over contesting the Lucknow Central seat has begun. Samajwadi Party MLA Ravidas Mehrotra and Congress leader Maruf Khan have both filed their nomination papers from Lucknow Central constituency, saying they were asked by the senior leaders to do so. “I have got directions from Raj Babbar and Ghulam Nabi Azad to file nomination from Lucknow Central,” Maruf Khan told news agency ANI.
In reply, Mehrotra said that Khan will have to withdraw his nomination from the seat as he will contest from the seat. “Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi urged people to vote for me. I will contest. He (Maruf Khan) will withdraw his nomination,” Ravidas Mehrotra told ANI.
Samajwadi Party and Congress forged an alliance after several rounds of negotiations on seat sharing. SP will contest 298 of the 403 seats and Congress will contest in the remaining 105, as it was decided between the two parties. The SP-Congress alliance will take on BJP and BSP, who are the other two major contenders in the upcoming elections. Uttar Pradesh will go to polls this month from February 11 to March 8 in seven phases. The votes will be counted on March 11.