SP names 53 candidates, 17 are Muslims

The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Thursday released the first list of 53 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections. Of these, 17 are Muslims.

The party's general secretary and state in-charge Ramjilal Suman said names of candidates for the rest of the Assembly constituencies would be released once the screening process was over. He did not commit if SP would filed candidates in all the 182 seats.

Asked if SP contesting in Gujarat would harm the Congress's prospects, he said it was not his party's concern. "We are the third biggest party in the country and we are contesting to expand outside UP where SP is in power," Suman said.

Muslims all over the country considered SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav as their leader and so there was nothing wrong in fielding Muslim candidates in numbers more than their ratio in the population. "Moreover, they have stood with SP in every crisis," he added.

A former union minister, Suman said besides Mulayam, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, MP Jaya Bachchan, UP minister Azam Khan and Ram Gopal Yadav would come to Gujarat for campaigning.

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