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  India   Politics  29 Dec 2016  Mulayam Singh Yadav snubs son Akhilesh on tickets, alliance

Mulayam Singh Yadav snubs son Akhilesh on tickets, alliance

Published : Dec 29, 2016, 12:33 am IST
Updated : Dec 29, 2016, 6:27 am IST

While 176 sitting MLAs found favour with the veteran leader, as many as 53 sitting legislators have been dropped from the candidates list.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (Photo: PTI)
 Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The raging ticket war in the Samajwadi Party came out into the open on Wednesday when Mulayam Singh Yadav announced the candidates for 325 of the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, ignoring his son Akhilesh Yadav’s objections to certain “tainted” names. Worse, he refused to endorse his son as the party’s chief ministerial candidate for elections likely to be held early next year.

The list, released while Akhilesh Yadav was away on election tour, doesn’t merely include candidates the chief minister was opposed to, but it also ignores several names favoured by him and submitted to his father on Sunday.

While 176 sitting MLAs found favour with the veteran leader, as many as 53 sitting legislators have been dropped from the candidates list.

At a hurriedly called press conference in Lucknow, SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav, flanked by state party chief and his brother Shivpal Yadav, also refused to declare Akhilesh as the party’s chief ministerial candidate, saying, “SP has no tradition of projecting anyone as its chief ministerial candidate. Some parties do it, and in the process bite the dust. In SP, the legislators elect their leader.” Akhikesh Yadav, he said, was “free to contest from any seat.”

Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the list, but Mulayam Singh Yadav announced that Shivpal Yadav would contest from Jaswant Nagar.

What raised eyebrows and surprised many was Mulayam Singh Yadav’s sudden praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “PM bahut kasht jhelkar yahan tak aye hain. Sadharan parivar se hain woh (PM has struggled a lot to come to this position. He’s from an ordinary family).” He, however, criticised demonetisation, and accused the BJP of not delivering on its poll promises.

The SP supremo’s move to announce 325 of the 403 Assembly seats in UP also curtailed his son’s move to strike an alliance with the Congress. “Samjawadi party is not forming an alliance with anyone,” Mulayam Singh Yadav announced and added, “Names of candidates for the rest of 78 seats would be announced soon.”

Just two weeks ago Akhilesh Yadav had indicated that the SP and Congress leaders were in touch for a possible alliance, and had gone so far as to say that “if there is an alliance, we will get over 300 seats.”

To add insult to injury, senior Yadav’s list on Wednesday ignored pro-Akhilesh ministers and MLAs, including Ram Govind Chaudhary, Pawan Pandey, Arvind Sing Gope, Tej Narain Pandey and Kamal Akhtar, but included names of some minister he had sacked. It also included Sigbatullah Ansari, brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases, including of murder and attempt to murder. The chief minister is opposed to both candidates.

Some of the ministers sacked by Akhilesh Yadav — Om Prakash Singh, Narad Rai, Shadab Fatima and Yogesh Pratap Singh — have been given tickets.

Till last week the ticket war seemed confined to Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav. On Sunday, Shivpal Yadav had handed over a list of candidates for 175 seats to Mulayam Singh Yadav. Following which Akhilesh prepared his own list of candidates and sent it to his father. It now seems that Mulayam Singh Yadav has yet again come out in support of his brother.

When asked how many candidates had been selected from the list submitted by Akhilesh, the SP supremo said that other leaders had also given their own lists and all had to be accommodated.

Tags: mulayam singh yadav, akhilesh yadav, shivpal yadav
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow