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SP-Congress CM face Akhilesh Yadav not to contest UP Assembly polls

Sadiq Naqvi | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:45 IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is not likely to contest in the Assembly polls.

Party vice president Kiranmoy Nanda confirmed that Akhilesh will not contest the polls since he wants to focus on campaigning in the state. "He is an MLC already. And since he has to campaign in all districts he will not be contesting the polls," he told Catch. Another SP leader insisted that there is too less time left for the polls and that is the reason why the CM has changed his mind.

The Samajwadi Party chief had announced that he wants to contest from Babina constituency in Jhansi, in the Bundelkhand region. The candidature was meant send a message, that the Chief Minister wanted to lead from the front. One that the constituency was in Bundelkhand, one of the most backward regions in Uttar Pradesh, with droughts a yearly phenomenon, two, the BSP candidates have been winning from Babina in the last two elections. And that the UP CM choosing a constituency where the party has been on a losing streak would have increased his stature in the party. Mostly, senior leaders choose a 'safe' constituency.

Babina, a reserved constituency since 1974, was changes to a general one in 2012. Babina will go to polls in the fourth phase on 23 February.

"Some Bundelkhand people came to me and requested me to contest from a seat in the region as no chief minister has been elected from there," Akhilesh had reportedly said. He is also learnt to have sent a proposal to the then party chief, his father Mulayam Singh.

However, things were different when Akhilesh Yadav had sent the proposal in late December. Then, he was battling it out with the senior party leadership-close family members father Mulayam Singh and uncle Shivpal Yadav-to be in a position to call the shots in the party. Indeed, he succeeded, when in the 1 January emergency convention, an overwhelming majority of the party delegates anointed him as the Chief of the party. The other faction, had to meekly surrender when even the Election Commission upheld that the Akhilesh Yadav faction constituted the real Samajwadi party.

Akhilesh Yadav has never contested Assembly elections, although he has won the Lok Sabha elections thrice, since he first contested in the year 2000.

Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav, has announced another list of 37 candidates. As many as six sitting MLAs have made the cut in the new list. It also includes some who were seen to be close to Shivpal Yadav, like Shadab Fatima. Earlier, the list of SP candidates had omitted the name of Aditya Yadav, Shivpal's son who was said to be keen on contesting the polls.

The sitting MLA from Bhadohi, Vijay Mishra, who has several criminal cases including that of murder and attempt to murder pending against him, too, has been denied a ticket by the Samajwadi Party.

As expected, the new list confirms that Aparna Yadav, the sister-in-law of Chief Minister will take on Congress-turned-BJP leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi, in the Lucknow Cantonment constituency.

First published: 23 January 2017, 8:30 IST
 
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