SP in a fix over choosing candidates for LS poll

As the Samajwadi Party (SP) prepares to declare its list of Lok Sabha candidates next week, suspense remains over several seats. The party is likely to hold back several seats to accommodate the demands of senior leaders and last-minute adjustments for stalwarts.

SP spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said, "As per the announcement of our national general secretary Prof Ram Gopal Yadav, names of 60 candidates have been finalised. The list includes sitting MPs."

The SP does not need to summon a national parliamentary board meeting to take consent for releasing the list. "During the previous meeting of the national parliamentary board, all the powers for declaring the candidates were handed over to party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. He is thus entitled to declare the list and there is no obligation to convene a meeting," Mohan Singh, national general secretary of the party, told The Indian Express.

Amid the finalisation of candidates, however, suspense remains over a number of seats.

One such seat is Rampur. The SP MP from Rampur, Jaya Prada, had been expelled from the party. Sources confirmed that no one had applied for a party ticket from the seat and the final decision rested on SP general secretary Azam Khan. Khan, however, said: "I am not aware of this. The party office will be in a better position to inform you."

Among the 927 applications for Lok Sabha tickets, there was no application from Mainpuri, represented by Mulayam; Kannauj, represented by Dimple Yadav; and Badaun, represented by Dharmendra Yadav.

Firozabad seat — where Dimple lost to Congress nominee Raj Babbar in the bypoll — is likely to go to Akshay Yadav, son of Ram Gopal Yadav. Sources confirmed that party observer Juhi Singh had submitted Akshay's name in her report.

SP youth leader Anand Bhadauria of Lohia Vahini is preparing himself from Dhaurahra seat, which is currently represented by Union Minister Jitin Prasada while Sunil Yadav of Chatra Sabha is eyeing Unnao seat, which is now represented by Congress's Annu Tandon.

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