The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday declared its candidates for five more Lok Sabha seats. Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, was not named.

Aparna was speculated to have been interested in contesting the Lok Sabha election from Sambhal. She had fuelled the speculation earlier this week by referring to “rumours” about her being fielded as an alliance candidate from Sambhal.

However, the list released by the Samajwadi Party, which is contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), named Shafiq-ur-Rehman Barq as its candidate from Sambhal.

Sambhal is an SP stronghold and Mulayam has won the seat twice in the past. His brother and SP national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav has also won it once. Shafiq-ur-Rehman Barq won the Sambhal seat in 2009 as BSP candidate. In 2014, he joined the Samajwadi Party.

Aparna had contested the 2017 UP assembly polls unsuccessfully from Lucknow Cant. The Yadav family and the Samajwadi Party was caught in a feud when Akhilesh Yadav staked claim on the leadership of the party. Mulayam, Akhilesh and his wife Dimple Yadav campaigned for Aparna but she lost the election.

After Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav floated the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), it was being speculated that Aparna might switch sides and contest the Lok Sabha polls on the PSPL ticket. She made frequent appearances on political platforms with Shivpal.

Till recently, three names were doing the rounds for the Sambhal seat. Besides Aparna and Barq, Manipuri’s sitting MP Tej Pratap Singh Yadav was also in the contention after Mulayam was nominated from this Lok Sabha seat.

The other four candidates announced by the SP are sitting Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MP Tabassum Hasan from her Kairana seat, Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh from Gonda, Ram Sagar Rawat from Barabanki (reserved) and Surendra Kumar alias Munni Sharma from Ghaziabad.

Tabassum Hasan had contested the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll on an RLD ticket. Now, she has returned to the SP to be the party candidate on the seat.

Under the seat-sharing arrangement, Kairana came to the SP, which gave Mathura, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar seats of its quota to the RLD. Tabassum Hasan won the Kairana seat in 2009 Lok Sabha polls as BSP candidate.

With this, the party has so far announced candidates for 16 seats in Uttar Pradesh. The SP, which has a seat share of 37 in its alliance with the BSP and the RLD, has to declare the candidates for the remaining 22 seats of its quota.

On March 8, the SP had declared candidates for nine seats: Dimple Yadav (Kannauj), Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mainpuri), Purvi Verma (Kheri), Usha Verma (Hardoi-reserved), Dharmendra Yadav (Badaun), Akshaya Yadav (Firozabad), Kamlesh Katheria (Etawah-reserved), Bhailal Kol (Robertsganj-reserved) and Shabbir Balmiki (Bahraich-reserved).

Mulayam, Dimple, Dharmendra and Akshaya are sitting MPs. On March 12, the party announced tickets for Ramji Lal Suman from Hathras (reserved) and for Rajendra S Bind from Mirzapur.

First Published:
Mar 16, 2019 08:19 IST

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