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SP looks to spread wings in MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan

The Samajwadi Party is preparing to spread its wings in three other Hindi-belt states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where assembly polls are likely to be held in November, party leaders familiar with the matter said.

lucknow Updated: Jun 06, 2018 12:22 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Samajwadi Party,SP,Madhya Pradesh
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav at a Hanuman temple in Lucknow.(HT Photo)

The Samajwadi Party (SP) is preparing to spread its wings in three other Hindi-belt states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where assembly polls are likely to be held in November, party leaders familiar with the matter said.

The party is engaged in selecting candidates for the three states and has started sending its observers there to prepare for the election.

Since its inception in 1992, the Samajwadi Party has been a regional party but its chief Akhilesh Yadav said in January he would like to turn it into a national party.

Yadav will tour all the three states, two of them for a second time in less than a year.

He visited Madhya Pradesh for three days in May-end and Chhattisgarh in September last year, said a senior SP leader.

As the SP is primarily focusing on Madhya Pradesh, Akhilesh held public meetings in Siddhi, Satna, and Chhattarpur districts between May 18 and 20 there.

Speaking at a press conference in Chhattarpur, Akhilesh had made it clear if the opposition parties wanted to take the SP on board, then it should be on ‘decent terms’.

“If someone tells us we do not have a presence here and we should settle for less, then we too can tell them they have no presence in UP,” he had said.

“If the SP does not find suitable alliance terms, it will contest all 230 seats in MP and all the 90 in Chhattisgarh. We are not yet clear about Rajasthan,” said those in the know of things in the backdrop of the Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party tie-up talks for Madhya Pradesh.

It was in the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur that Akhilesh had first declared that his wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav might not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Jugal Kishore Valmiki, the observer who was sent to Janjgir Champa district of Chhattisgarh, said the party was prepared at the booth level in the district.

The SP had won seven assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh in 2003. This was the party’s best performance outside UP.

It had also contested elections on a limited number of seats in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands earlier.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 12:22 IST