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Samajwadi Party introduces new list, BJP former minister Maurya not to contest

Samajwadi PartyPhoto Credit: Hindustan Times

Samajwadi Party has made three interesting moves in terms of candidates and constituencies i.e moving BJP-turncoat Swami Prasad Maurya to a safer seat; fielding Union minister Anupriya Patel’s sister Pallavi Patel (on opposing sides) against the current deputy CM; and moving Abhishek Mishra to Sarojini Nagar to take on former ED official Rajeshwar Singh, who recently joined the Bharatiya

Former Uttar Pradesh minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) last month after leaving the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will contest the state assembly elections from Kushinagar’s Fazilnagar seat, rather than the Padrauna seat, which he has represented since 2008.

This means that Surendra Kushwaha, the son of current BJP MLA Ganga Singh Kushwaha, would face Maurya, who joined the BJP in 2016 from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Former Congress leader RPN Singh, who joined the BJP on January 25, was widely expected to face Swami Prasad Maurya, who is from Padrauna, which, like Fazilnagar, is part of the Kushinagar district. Singh won the Kushinagar parliamentary seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, defeating Maurya. The seat was won by a BJP candidate in 2014 and 2019.

Ganga Singh Kushwaha won the seat twice for the BJP, in 2012 and 2017, however, because he is now 80 years old, the party replaced him with his son. Other backward classes are represented by Swami Prasad Maurya and Surendra Kushwaha (OBCs).

The SP has fielded Pallavi Patel of Apna Dal (K) as its candidate for the Sirathu seat in order to fight deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Both Keshav Prasad Maurya and Pallavi Patel are members of the OBC community. Pallavi is the daughter of Krishna Patel, the late Sonelal Patel’s wife, and the sister of Apna Dal (S) supporter and union minister Anupriya Patel. The president of Apna Dal (K), Krishna Patel, aligned with the SP. Patels make up a sizable population in Sirathu.

Political analyst CP Rai said Rajeshwar Singh and Abhishek are equally poised in Sarojini Nagar. “Whosoever wins or loses on these three seats now, will not be a shock or surprise. Both the parties are fighting fiercely, seat to seat. Swami Prasad Maurya was clearly not confident in Padrauna, but Fazilnagar won’t be a cake-walk. Abhishek Mishra would surely have lost the Lucknow North. But now Rajeshwar Singh and Abhishek are equally poised on Sarojini Nagar. The deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maruya’s difficulties have just increased.”

The SP has fielded Abhishek Mishra, a minister in Akhilesh Yadav’s previous government (2012-17) and one of the SP’s next-gen leaders, in the Sarojini Nagar (Lucknow) seat. Mishra’s seat in Lucknow North was gained in 2012 and lost in 2017. Pooja Shukla, a fiery student activist who showed the black flag to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Lucknow University during a protest by certain Lucknow University students in Lucknow North in June 2017, has been fielded by the SP. The SP plans to face former Enforcement Directorate (ED) joint director Rajeshwar Singh of the BJP in Sarojini Nagar by fielding Mishra. Swati Singh, a sitting member and minister, was removed from the Sarojini Nagar Assembly seat by the ruling BJP on Tuesday, and Rajeshwar Singh was elected in her place.

With three tickets announced on Wednesday morning and 12 in the evening, the SP has declared candidates for 287 seats, while the BJP has nominated candidates for 315 seats.

The seven-phase elections for the 403-member legislature in Uttar Pradesh begin on February 10. On March 7, the last round of polling will take place, and the results will be announced on March 10.

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By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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