In SP, leaders bicker, lobby for nomination

A turf war is on in Samajwadi Party ahead on the by-elections for chairman of zila panchayats in the state. Party leaders are at loggerheads resulting in candidature of several aspirants from one district. In 2010, during zila panchayat elections none of the aspirants could muster courage to even file their nominations in 23 districts resulting in unopposed election of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidates in these districts.

This time, the party is facing a problem of plenty aspirants.

Bypolls are to be held for 28 vacant posts of chairman of zila parishad across the state on Janaury 21 through a secret ballot. Results will be declared the same day. The major districts going to polls include Lucknow, Agra, Banda, Sonbhadra, Sultanpur, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Shamli, Sambhal, Moradabad and Bijnore among others. Bypoll for Mathura district has been postponed.

Now, hectic lobbying is going on for getting SP nominations. Though, the elections are not held on party symbols but backing of political party in power makes the victory easy. Usually these elections witness misuse of muscle and money power.

In the SP, aspirants are using every options for getting party high command's favour. At Lucknow itself, over half a dozen aspirants have presented their candidature. The major front runner being Lallu Yadav and Geeta Yadav. At Moradabad, SP is divided between Manju Devi and Anjum. The duo even met minister Shivpal Yadav and presented their claim. Fed up with bickering, Shivpal remarked: "Go and fight as independents. We will accept you both."

At Bijnore, SP lobbied hard and removed BSP chairman Nasreen Saifi through no-confidence motion. But Saifi had the last laugh as she joined the SP after losing her seat, and the party has fielded her again.

At Sonbhadra, Beena Devi, wife of local criminal Indradev Singh, has staked claim. Party loyalist Anita Rakesh, feeling threatened, met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday apprising him about the situation. No decision has been taken so far regarding the final candidate in the district.

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