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AMETHI

SP will keep its rivals in suspense for a few more days on its nominee from Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi will make his electoral debut.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2004 15:33 IST

The Samajwadi Party will keep its rivals in suspense for a few more days on its nominee from Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi will make his electoral debut.

The SP had initially planned not to field a candidate in Amethi in favour of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. But the situation "changed" when Sonia shifted to Rae Bareli. According to sources, the party will not withdraw its candidate in Rae Bareli and will announce a candidate for Amethi soon.

Amethi is one of the seven seats where the SP has not named candidates. The other seats are Ballia, Mainpuri, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Sultanpur and Shahbad.

The party has left 10 seats for the RLD. It has announced names for 63 of the 70 seats it has kept for itself. UP has 80 LS seats. The party’s political line was to give and take issue-based support, and have an understanding with the Congress. Since it failed to arrive at an understanding with the Congress, it might not leave any seat in its favour.

There are indications the SP may put up a candidate against former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar in Ballia if he supports the Congress. There is also speculation that Mulayam Singh Yadav may contest from Mainpuri. He has spent the last few days addressing rallies in the region.

If Yadav wins from Mainpuri, it would have major implications in the post-poll scenario. Yadav told party workers that if they helped him win the bulk of seats in UP, capturing power in Delhi would not be an impossible task.

The party will finalise its candidates for Pratapgarh, Fatehpur and Shahbad after assessing the caste factor. Raja Bhaiyya’s name cannot be ruled out for Pratapgarh.

First Published: Mar 26, 2004 13:17 IST