In a lightning fast move which has given it a head start, the Samajwadi Party released its first list of 55 candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Expectedly, the candidates’ list is dominated by the party’s first family headed by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, with no less than four of his kin making it to the list.
Besides, the relatives of other SP leaders as well as a few criminals make up the remainder of the candidates. The list also includes the name of Devendra Singh Yadav, who is the father-in-law of the CM’s special secretary, Pandhari Yadav.
Meanwhile, the SP is likely to field Mulayam’s youngest son, Prateek Yadav from Azamgarh. In terms of the caste equations, the SP’s top brass had apparently decided to play to the party’s strengths by fielding as many as 20 OBC candidates. Belying expectations, Muslim candidates did not get a big share of the tickets as was widely expected. However, there has been just a sprinkling of the caste Hindus. Despite the Yadav’s family’s pre-eminent position on the state’s political landscape, this is for the first time that four of its members are contesting the Parliamentary elections. Interestingly, the issue of dynasty politics is not relevant to the SP anymore even though it waged a campaign against “pariwarwad” (dynastic rule ) in the Congress at the beginning!
Significantly, the SP list reveals the party’s changed approach towards the Congress. In fact, the SP has decided against fielding a candidate in Rae Bareli and the neighbouring Amethi constituency which are represented by Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi her son and political heir Rahul Gandhi respectively.
Also, the ruling party has fielded lightweights like Anand Bhaduaria in the Dhaurahara seat against Union Minister of State for HRD Jitin Prasada and mafioso- turned-politician Arun Shankar Shukla against Congress’ Annu Tandon in Unnao. Annu, who is perceived as close to industrialist Mukesh Ambani, is expected to have a cakewalk as Shukla alias Anna Maharaj had miserably lost from the constituency in 2009 after contesting on a BSP ticket.