Three Yadav kin in SP’s first list for Lok Sabha polls - Hindustan Times
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Three Yadav kin in SP’s first list for Lok Sabha polls

Jan 31, 2024 06:02 AM IST

The first list came amid further seat-sharing talks with Congress; so far, the SP has offered seven seats to long-standing ally Rashtriya Lok Dal and 11 to the Congress

LUCKNOW The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Tuesday named candidates for 16 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, becoming the first party to come up with a list for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The first list has three Yadav family members, including sitting MP Dimple Yadav for the Mainpuri seat. The list also has an emphatic “PDA (Pichhada, Dalit, Alpsankhyak)” imprint with highest weightage to OBCs (other backward classes).

The SP has declared Dimple Yadav, party president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife, for the Mainpuri seat, which she inherited from late Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party founder, in the December 2022 bypolls. (File Photo)
The SP has declared Dimple Yadav, party president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife, for the Mainpuri seat, which she inherited from late Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party founder, in the December 2022 bypolls. (File Photo)

The first list came out amid further seat-sharing talks with INDIA bloc partner Congress. So far, the SP had offered seven seats to long-standing ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and 11 to the Congress. Though the seats are not named yet, the party sources said the 16 seats on which the SP declared its candidates are by-and-large not overlapping with any alliance partner’s demands.

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The party has declared Dimple Yadav, party president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife, for the Mainpuri seat, which she inherited from late Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party founder, in the December 2022 bypolls. Akhilesh’s cousin Akshay Yadav (SP chief national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav’s son) would contest the Firozabad seat, which he had lost to the BJP in the 2019 LS polls.

From Badaun, a seat held by BJP’s Sanghmita Maurya (daughter of SP general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya), the party has fielded Dharmendra Yadav, Akhilesh’s cousin.

The party has also given ticket to 93-year-old Shafiq-ur-Rahman Barq to contest the Sambhal seat, where he currently the MP. The SP has fielded Devesh Shakya on Etah, Utkarsh Verma on Kheri, Anand Bhadauria on Dharhaura, and Anu Tandon on Unnao seat (from where she was Congress MP in 2009).

On the Lucknow LS seat, the party’s Lucknow Central MLA Ravidas Mehrotra is the candidate, on Farukkhabad - Naval Kishore Shakya, Akbarpur - Rajaram Pal, Banda - Ravishankar Singh Patel, Faizabad - Avadhesh Prasad, Ambedkar Nagar - Lalji Verma, Basti- Ramprasad Chaudhary, and Gorakhpur- Ms Kajal Nishad.

On the list of 16 candidates, 11 are OBCs - four Kurmi, three Yadav, two Shakya, one Nishad, and one Pal. There is one Muslim, one Dalit, two Khatri and one Kshatriya. It also comprises two women -Anu Tandon and Kajal Nishad - and three sitting MLAs -Ravidas Mehrotra, Avadhesh Prasad, and Lalji Verma.

Significantly, the party has fielded a Dalit Avadhesh Prasad on the Faizabad (Ayodhya) general seat. “Hoga PDA ke naam, abki ekjut matdaan,” is the SP’s tagline on the announcement list posted on the party’s X handle.

In the current Lok Sabha, the SP, which had fought in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 2019, has three MPs while the BSP has 10 MPs. Sonia Gandhi, who represents the Rae Bareli seat, is the lone Congress MP from the State.

On January 19, the SP and RLD announced their alliance for the Lok Sabha election, with SP leaving seven seats in western Uttar Pradesh for the RLD.

The SP has offered 11 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh to the Congress.

The Congress and the SP are members of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), formed to take on the BJP-led Centre.

“Our cordial alliance with the Congress is off to a good start with 11 strong seats. This trend will move forward with the winning equation. ‘INDIA’ team and ‘PDA’ (Pichhada, Dalit, Alpsankhyak) strategy will change history,” Yadav said in a post on X.

UP Congress Committee (UPCC) spokesperson CP Rai, when asked about the SP’s Tuesday move, said: “It is Akhileshji’s party and the party has declared its candidates. As far as the Congress is concerned, discussions are still on between the SP and the committee of Congress that includes Ashok Gehlot, Mukul Wasnik, Salman Khurshid and others. So, it would not be appropriate to comment. However, it would have been better if both the parties declared their seats/candidates together.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Pankaj Jaiswal is Chief of Bureau, Uttar Pradesh and covers politics. His continued interest in rural, distress, and development journalism, fetched him a handful of prestigious awards and fellowships. Pankaj is a photo-journalist too and tweets at @augustus29lotus

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