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Published On: Mon, Dec 26th, 2016

Akhilesh And Uncle Shivpal Have Separate Candidate Lists for UP

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shivpal-akhileshNEW DELHI : The ruling Samajwadi Party has two sets of candidates for assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, as a bitter power struggle between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav spills over into electioneering ahead of crucial state polls.

Akhilesh Yadav, angry that his uncle is picking candidates with criminal records, met his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday and gave him a list of people that he would like the party to field in all 403 constituencies.

“Yes he has submitted a list and he is well within his rights to do so .Mulayam Singh ji will take the final call on candidates,” said Juhi Singh, a senior leader of the party.

In a series of tweets on the weekend, Shivpal Yadav had suggested that final call would be his as the party’s chief in Uttar Pradesh. He emphasised that the “winnability” of a candidate was the main criterion for selection.

“Ticket will be distributed based on wins. So far 175 people have been given ticket,” tweeted Shivpal Yadav, who is the younger brother of Mulayam Singh. He also said in tweets the “Chief Minister will be selected by the legislative party which is according to the party’s constitution,” warning that no “indiscipline will be tolerated in the party.”

The last one was intended for his nephew, who is widely seen as pitching for a second term as UP’s Chief Minister, though Mulayam Singh too has indicated that there will be no automatic renewal for Akhilesh Yadav if the party is returned to power.

The 43-year-old Chief Minister and Shivpal Yadav have engaged in an intense tussle for control within the party in the crucial months before the assembly elections. Mulayam Singh has largely sided with his brother handing him more powers by divesting his son of the Samwajwadi Party’s UP chief just before the selection of candidates was to begin.

Among those so far picked to contest as Samajwadi Party candidates by Shivpal Yadav are Atiq Ahmed from Kanpur, who has 40 criminal cases including those of murder against him, Sigbatullah Ansari, the brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Aman Mani Tripathi, arrested recently by the CBI in a case related to the death of his wife.

That completely negates Akhilesh Yadav’s attempt to change the image of the party after struggling with law and order issues over his five-year term, marked by his father functioning as what rival parties called a “super chief minister” by taking calls on government matters as well as picking officials for key posts.

Senior BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the latest installation of the Yadav family feud is a sign that the Samajwadi Party is in total disarray. “And they talk about giving a fight to the BJP,” Mr Pathak scoffed, adding that the internal battle would defeat the Samajwadi Party in the assembly elections.

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