The Samajwadi Party leadership on Friday rendered a severe blow to Anuradha Chaudhary by announcing a new candidate in Bijnor for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
SP national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said Amir Alam would replace Chaudhary, who had defected to the SP from the Rashtriya Lok Dal in the run-up to the 2012 Assembly elections.
Before her RLD stint, Chaudhary handled the key portfolios of PWD and Irrigation in the then Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh Government. She left her mentor Ajit Singh’s RLD last year, due to differences of opinion.
Sensing the new opportunity to settle scores with his old political rival Ajit and to consolidate the SP in western UP, Mulayam immediately offered to field her from Bijnor for the Lok Sabha polls. She was even directed to start campaigning. But it is learnt that Chaudhary did not visit Bijnor and stayed at home most of the time, thus making the party opt for a replacement.
The SP has also announced new candidates in four more seats. Rahul Shukla, the son of a local MLA, would replace Kirtivardhan Singh in Gonda. He would most probably be pitted against Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma.
Kirtivardhan, the son of UP Agriculture Minister Anand Singh, had defected from the BSP with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls. He has been replaced now as the party felt that fielding a Rajput would only tilt the Brahmin-Muslim votes in Beni’s favour.
Hawaldar Singh would replace Balram Yadav in Azamgarh constituency. Presently a state minister, Balram had expressed his reluctance to contest the Lok Sabha polls. Hence the new candidate.
Some of the partymen wanted Mulayam’s son Prateek Yadav to contest from Azamgarh. But as four members of the family were already MPs, that idea was not favoured.
In Aligarh, party’s Brahmin candidate Kazal Sharma has been replaced with a Muslim candidate Zafar Alam. Kazal is the wife of Guddu Sharma, a criminal-turned-politician and an SP MLA. In Saharanpur, the party has announced Feroz Aftab as its candidate.