Three young Samajwadi Party leaders, who joined mainstream politics after a successful innings in student unions, are among ticket seekers for two assembly constituencies in Varanasi.
One of the aspirants, Kishan Dixit, is among those who drafted their resignation letters in blood, declaring their loyalty to Akhilesh Yadav during the SP feud late last year.
Dixit was students’ union president of the Harishchandra Post Graduate College in 2006.
He wants a ticket for the Varanasi South assembly constituency. “I have apprised party leadership about my wish to contest the polls. But I will contest only if the party gives me the ticket, and bhaiya (Akhilesh) promises to address at least a rally in Varanasi,” Dixit said.
Dixit came in contact with Akhilesh in 2000. Later, Akhilesh administered him the oath of office after he was elected as students’ union president in 2006. Dixit camped in Lucknow during the SP feud.
Ashutosh Sinha, who was elected vice president of the Harishchandra College students’ union in 2006, wants the SP ticket for the Cantonment assembly seats.
“I want a party ticket from Cantonment Assembly constituency. I have worked hard in the constituency. The caste equation also is in my favour,” Sinha said.
Raju Yadav, who was students’ union president at Harishchandra College in 2005, too wants to contest the election from Varanasi South.
Yadav is in Lucknow for Akhilesh’s joint road show with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, slated for Sunday. The student leaders said they would contest the polls only if they were fielded, otherwise they would work for the party and support the candidates.
However, their hopes may be dashed as the SP may leave these two seats in Varanasi for the Congress, insiders said.
Four student leaders in fray in Meerut, Baghpat
Political parties have reposed faith in student leaders, fielding them from different constituencies here for the assembly election.
At least four student leaders have got tickets in Meerut and Baghpat.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded former Chaudhary Charan Singh (CCS) University students’ union president Somendra Tomar from Meerut South constituency. Somendra began his political career as an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist. He was elected the president of the CCS University Students’ Union in 2003. The party elevated him as national general secretary of its youth wing in 2015. It has now given him the ticket for the Meerut South seat.
Atul Pradhan, another student leader, has got the Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket for the Sardhana constituency. He was active in the CCS University student politics from 2002 to 2004. He was made state secretary of the SP Chatra Sabha in 2007 and elevated as its state president in 2013.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) has also fielded another student leader Kuldeep Ujjawal from Baghpat. Kuldeep was elected president of the CCS University students’ union in 2004. Before that, he worked as the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha national secretary.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has fielded Gyanendra Sharma, the senior-most among the four student leaders, from Meerut City constituency. Sharma belongs to a political family. His mother Shraddha Devi was elected MLA from Kithore constituency thrice in the 1950s. Sharma was elected president of NAS Degree College students’ union 1992. He also became president of the Sanyukt College Chatrasangh the same year.
The Congress appointed him the NSUI national vice-president in 1994 and he played an active role in the anti-Mandal commission movement. He then quit the Congress and joined the RLD, where he led the campaign for creation of a separate state of Harit Pradesh. The party appointed him president of its students’ wing in 2000.