Jan 12, 2017 12:51 IST
Seemingly unperturbed by the ongoing power tussle within the ruling Yadav family, the Akhilesh Yadav faction of the Samajwadi Party is working on a fresh list of candidates that it would declare soon, according to sources.
“While those facing criminal charges will be kept out, the revised list will be declared with the permission of ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and accommodate deserving aspirants of both the factions,” said a party source close to the Akhilesh camp.
The first indication of Akhilesh Yadav asserting his position in the party came on Tuesday when Akhilesh-appointed SP UP unit chief Naresh Uttam released names of three party candidates for UP legislative council elections to be held on February 3.
Party sources said former ministers Narad Rai, Om Prakash Singh, Shadab Fatima and Ambika Chowdhary, who were sacked by Akhilesh following tit-for-tat expulsions of his loyalists from the party, may be included in the new list .
Much significance is being attached in this regard to the meeting between UP minister Pawan Pandey and Mulayam on Wednesday. An Akhilesh loyalist, Pandey was sacked for his alleged assault on Aashu Malik, a Mulayam loyalist, and later denied party ticket from his assembly seat Ayodhya by Shivpal Yadav, who was then state SP chief. Pandey, according to sources, reportedly explained everything to Mulayam and has sought his ‘blessings’ for his candidature. Sources in the party said Pandey would be SP’s nominee from Ayodhya in the new list.
Other supporters from Akhilesh camp, who were denied tickets but are now reportedly back in the reckoning include Arvind Singh Gope, Ram Govind Chowdhary (all ministers) and Atul Pradhan from Meerut, Richa Singh from Allahabad. Similarly, those who have already been issued party ticket by Mulayam but are now likely to be axed because of their tainted record include Atiq Ahmed from Kanpur, jailbird Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sibghatullah Ansari, Aman Tripathi, son of murder convict Amarmani Tripathi. “My leader is Akhilesh and I have already told him that I am going to fight the election from Meerut come what may. You will soon find out how,” said Pradhan.
Mulayam had announced 395 candidates – eight short of total 403 assembly seats – on December 30. Later Akhilesh had released his own list of around 250 candidates. “The changes will not be on more than three dozen seats on which tickets have already been announced,” said a party legislator from Lucknow.
All eyes would also be on Lucknow, which has nine assembly constituencies. Mulayam declared candidates on all the seats, five of whom also figure in the list prepared by Akhilesh.
The CM, in the list he had earlier handed over to Mulayam, did not declare his nominees on Lucknow Cantonment, where the party has fielded Mulayam’s daughter in-law Aparna Yadav, and Lucknow East.
There were differences on Malihabad and Bakshi-ka-Talaab assembly constituencies. While Akhilesh proposed the names of Indel Kumar Rawat and Gomti Yadav, Mulayam made Sonu Kannaujia and Rajendra Yadav as party candidates, respectively.