Will Samajwadi Party pedal alone in UP?

| Updated: Jan 20, 2017 22:34 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 20 (ANI): Clearing all uncertainties over an alliance with the Congress Party in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party on Friday released a list of 191 candidates for the first three phases of the assembly polls. With the Congress maintaining suspense so far on whether it will ally with the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party has fielded its candidates even in those constituencies said to be the strong hold of the grand old party. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Ashok Agrawal from Mathura, the constituency of Congress Legislative Party leader and sitting MLA Pradeep Mathur. With the Congress not yet opening its cards on whether they would go for an alliance, the Samajwadi Party seems all set to contest the polls on its own. Interestingly, the list includes the Samajwadi Party candidates on eight seats where the Congress has sitting MLAs. The other seats of Congress sitting MLAs where the Samajwadi Party has fielded its candidates include Bilaspur, Kidvai Nagar, Khurja, Syana, Kapur, Swar and Shamli. There have so far been talks of the Samajwadi Party wanting to contest 300 of the 403 assembly seats in the politically crucial state while allotting the rest to the Congress. However, Samajwadi Party leader Kiranmoy Nanda's recent assertion that the Congress should ideally be given not more than 54 seats to contest makes it clear that the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh has decided to go solo. "We plan to give 54 seats to the Congress, may give 25-30 more to them after discussions which is around 80 or so. We will fight on 300 plus seats. The number of seats to be given to the Congress is subject to adjustment and discussion let alliance happen," Nanda told the media in Lucknow. What is worth mentioning is that former state president Shivpal Yadav, said to be a strong bete noire of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, also figures in the last, thereby indication that all is now well in Uttar Pradesh's first family. Shivpal has been allocated ticket from Jaswantnagar from where he emerged victorious in 2012. The constituency falls in Etawah district and covers Saifai, the native village of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. Another party leader Arvind Singh Gop has been allotted the ticket in place of Beni Prasad Verma's son Rakesh Verma. While senior Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal's son Nitin Agrawal has been given ticket from Hardoi, Azam Khan's son Abdullah Azam will contest from Suar (Rampur). The list has several young candidates and new faces, seen as Akhilesh Yadav protegees who have been speaking about grooming a new generation of leaders in a party dominated by veterans. Samajwadi Party leader Raghuraj Pratap Singh today said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will decide on alliance with the Congress. He, however, added that the Samajwadi Party is in a position to achieve absolute majority on its own in the electoral battle. This latest political development comes a day after the Samajwadi Party ruled out an alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which was earlier tipped to be the third partner in the conglomeration for the seven-phase assembly polls. Uttar Pradesh will elect a new 403-seat state assembly in seven phases on February 11, February 15, February 19, February 23, February 27, March 4 and March 8. (ANI)
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