Mulayam rules out grand alliance
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 29 Dec 2016 08:12:19|
SP supremo snubs Akhilesh, releases first list of 325 candidates
PROSPECTS of Bihar-type grand coalition in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Assembly polls ended on Wednesday, with SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav ruling out any alliance as he declared candidates for 325 of the 403 seats, giving a snub to his Chief Minister son Akhilesh Yadav.
Akhilesh, away on Bundelkhand tour, was clearly upset with the announcement made by Mulayam, along with his brother and party’s state unit chief Shivpal, at a hurriedly-convened press conference here and said he will talk to his father regarding the choice of candidates. In the list announced, Mulayam clearly ignored Akhilesh’s objections to certain names, like Sigbatullah Ansari, brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including of murder.
“Samajwadi Party is not forming an alliance with anyone,” Mulayam said, ending speculation of a tie-up between his party and Congress as part of forming a grand coalition on the pattern of last Assembly
elections in Bihar.
Akhilesh, who has been involved in a power struggle with Mulayam and uncle Shivpal, had publicly made it clear that he was not averse to an alliance with Congress and that a such a tie-up would fetch over 300 seats.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, when asked on Tuesday by reporters about the possibility of tie-up with SP, had said, “It is a strategic issue. I cannot say anything about it in a press conference. If you come to me personally, I can whisper in your ear.”
The list of candidates announced by Mulayam includes 176 sitting MLAs.
Clearly bearing the stamp of Mulayam and Shivpal, the list includes Sigbatullah Ansari and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including of murder and attempt to murder.
Today’s list has no mention on names of several pro-Akhilesh ministers and MLAs including Ram Govind Chaudhary, Pawan Pandey and Arvind Sing Gope (all ministers).
“The list released today does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets,” Akhilesh told reporters in Bundelkhand when asked to comment on the announcement by his father.
Significantly, Mulayam also ruled out projecting Akhilesh as the Chief Ministerial candidate, saying, “SP has no tradition of projecting anyone as its Chief Ministerial candidate. Some parties do it, and in the process bite the dust. In SP, the legislators elect their leader.”
To a question, the SP chief said Akhilesh was “free to contest” from any seat he wanted.
Names of candidates for rest of the 78 seats would be announced soon, he said