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Published On: Thu, Dec 29th, 2016

Rebel Akhilesh Yadav announced 235 candidates for UP polls

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imagesLUCKNOW : Amid high drama in the ruling Samajwadi Party on Thursday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav asked his supporters to prepare themselves for the upcoming elections in the state and also issued a fresh list of candidates for the polls, sending a clear message to his rivals that he won’t be cowed down.

Akhilesh had expressed displeasure after his father and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav released a list of candidates on Wednesday without consulting him. In a tit-for-tat move, Akhilesh on Thursday issued a fresh list of 235 candidates, out of 408, for the UP elections.
The move signalled that he is prepared to face the polls with or without the party’s support – a major setback for the SP chief who have been hoping to find a common ground to reunite the party ridden by factional feuds.
In a dramatic turn of events, Akhilesh announced the new candidature list soon after he held a closed-door meeting with his father and uncle Shivpal Yadav, who is the general secretary of the party’s state unit, here.The latest controversy in the party erupted after 53 sitting legislators were denied tickets.

It was not immediately clear what transpired in the meeting, but the three Yadavs were expected to discuss the latest discord between them arising from the candidates’ list and ways to diffuse the tension.
However, after the meeting, Akhilesh asked his aides to prepare for the elections, indicating that their meeting may have remained inconclusive and differences on the issue still exists.Earlier, Mulayam had announced 325 candidates for the UP elections while the names of 78 other candidates were withheld.

Elections in UP are expected to be announced by the Election Commission any day now. The Samajwadi Party takes on the BJP, the BSP and the Congress in a battle billed as the semi-final before the 2019 national election.

Akhilesh Yadav was snubbed again by his father and party chief Mulayam Singh on Wednesday when he left out several of the Chief Minister’s key aides from a list of 325 candidates that he released. Candidates that the Chief Minister had fiercely opposed, but were backed by his uncle Shivpal Yadav, made the list.

“We will fight elections…you will find out how,” said Atul Pradhan, a close confidant of Akhilesh Yadav, who hoped to be the party candidate from Meerut, adding, “We have met the Chief Minister and I am sure things will be sorted out. But we will fight.”

Akhilesh was not present at the Wednesday’s press conference in Bundelkhand where it was announced, but party leader and his bete noire  Shivpal Yadav was present. The chief minister was unhappy over the list which was announced without consulting with him.

Akhilesh had also expressed his reservation over the inclusion of some names in the list by his father such as Gayatri Prajapati and Rampal Yadav. Also the list, which includes 176 sitting MLAs, does not mention the names of several pro-Akhilesh ministers and MLAs.
The ruling SP has 224 seats in the current assembly.

Reacting to the developments, MLA and pro-Akhilesh camp Brijlal Sonkar said, “We all want Akhilesh to become the CM again, and in 2019, we want to take him to Delhi to make him the PM.”

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