Following the announcement of an alliance with Samajwadi Party (SP), the district Congress functionaries are hopeful of being allotted at least four of the five assembly seats in Ghaziabad. However, the SP had declared five candidates of its own for the district, in its third list, declared a couple of days ago.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress decided on the alliance to contest the upcoming assembly elections on Sunday evening. The SP will contest 298 constituencies while Congress will contest 105. The UP legislative assembly has a total of 403 assembly seats.
“We are hoping to field our candidates from Murad Nagar, Ghaziabad, Sahibabad and Loni. We feel our candidates are strong here and the alliance with SP can help us win. But the SP has already declared its candidates for these three seats as well. After the announcement of the alliance, some of these candidates may need to withdraw. However, a decision is awaited,” Harendra Kasana, district Congress president, said.
He added that the Congress may name former MP Surendra Prakash Goel from Murad Nagar, former MLA KK Sharma from Ghaziabad, sitting MLA Amarpal Sharma from Sahibabad and Sher Nabi Chaman from Loni, but the final list is still awaited.
From Murad Nagar, Ghaziabad and Sahibabad, the SP had declared former MLA Surendra Kumar Munni, Sagar Sharma and Virender Yadav, respectively, as its candidates. Agarwal’s name was finalised after previous SP candidate Ram Asre Sharma was replaced. Sharma is now said to be disgruntled and may contest as an independent candidate.
“My name was removed from the latest list. Still, I am undecided about contesting. I have called a meeting of the area residents and public on January 24, after which I will decide,” Sharma said.
Other contentious seats for the alliance are Sahibabad, where SP has already named Virender Yadav as its candidate. The other major contender, from Congress, is sitting MLA Amarpal Sharma, who was expelled from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) after which he had joined the Congress.
Sharma expressed confidence that he will get a ticket to contest from Sahibabad and said he will file his nomination on January 23. However, SP candidate Virender Yadav said that he has been given the ticket and also the party symbol to contest the elections from Sahibabad.
“The (ticket for the) seat will stay with me. I also got the party symbol and have already started my campaign. I will file my nomination soon,” Yadav said.
In the 2012 elections, both the parties had fared poorly in the district. Neither won a seat from any of the five segments in Ghaziabad. BSP had won four seats and the Rashtriya Lok Dal, one.
Barring the Murad Nagar seat, where the SP candidate came in second, other SP candidates came in third and fourth in four other constituencies in 2012. The Congress’ candidates came in fourth in Murad Nagar and third in Sahibabad and Ghaziabad.