In a move that can be read as an apparent snub to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and a victory for state party president and Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav ruled out an alliance with any party for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state and declared the first list of candidates for 325 seats in the state today.
Of these 325 seats, SP has sitting MLAs on 176 seats. The candidates for the remaining 78 seats will be announced soon, he said.
Addressing party workers in SP headquarters at Lucknow on Wednesday, Mulayam said, “I have already said that there will be no alliance with anyone.” With this announcement, it has now become clear that any chances of an alliance between SP and Congress have disappeared. It has also put to rest rumours of a grand alliance, like the one in Bihar.
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“The Samajwadi Party is not forming an alliance with anyone,” Mulayam said firmly and categorically, two weeks after Akhilesh confirmed that SP members were in touch with Congress leaders for a possible alliance. In fact, Akhilesh had gone so far as to say that “if there is an alliance, we will get over 300 seats.”
To add insult to injury, Mulayam’s list of candidates left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers and included many that his son objected to.
As many as 53 sitting legislators have been denied tickets, including senior minister and close Akhilesh aide Arvind Singh ‘Gop’, whose ticket has been given to Rakesh Verma, son of senior party leader Beni Prasad Verma.
Another close aide of Akhilesh, Pawan Pandey, has also also been denied a ticket.