LUCKNOW: By releasing a list of 325 candidates for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has once again stamped his authority over the party. It is also a loud and conspicuous snub to his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, as scores of his loyalists were denied tickets. The SP chief also shut the door on the possibilities of any pre-poll alliances, much against Akhilesh’s attempt to forge one with the Congress.
“The Samjawadi Party will go it alone in State elections, contesting all 403 seats,” he said, ending all speculations over the much-hyped pre-poll alliance with the Congress. It is believed that the alliance, despite concerted efforts by leaders of both the parties, failed to materialise as the Congress refused to budge over its demand of 125 seats and the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
Interestingly, the list released by Mulayam, on a day when Akhilesh was away in Bundelkhand to inaugurate development projects, makes it amply clear that party’s State unit chief Shivpal Yadav succeeded in prevailing over ticket distribution exercise. Shivpal and Akhilesh have a feud running over the past few months. Shivpal, who was a senior minister holding key portfolios, was sacked by Akhilesh in October.
Shivpal had officially announced 175 names for seats that SP lost in 2012. Registering his disagreement, Akhilesh, on the other hand, suggested 367 names and gave the list to party chief Mulayam last Saturday.
Although Mulayam refused to make it clear as to whose recommendations were taken, the names announced suggest the decision was heavily tilted towards his brother Shivpal.
While Mulayam punished more than 45 sitting MLAs, including four ministers by denying tickets for their said ‘proximity’ to Akhilesh, names for all the 149 seats that SP lost in 2012 are from Shivpal’s list. On the contrary, seven former ministers, sacked earlier by Akhilesh were given tickets from their respective constituencies. On analysing the list, one finds that Mulayam and Shivpal have again depended on the ‘MY’ (Muslim -Yadav) combination to return to power as the party has given tickets to 58 Muslims and 41 Yadav candidates.