In an open rebellion that could split the ruling SP, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tonight declared his own candidates for 235 seats against the official list announced by his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for the upcoming Assembly polls.
The list of names was made available on social media by party MLAs who failed to get a ticket in the official list yesterday.
Prominent among those figuring in the list are ministers Arvind Singh Gope, Pawan Pandey and Ram Govind Chaudhary, who are the hardcore Akhilesh loyalists denied ticket by Mulayam.
The candidates were declared by Akhilesh hours after he held a meeting with his loyalists, including MLAs, who were left out of the list of 325 announced by Mulayam yesterday.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 seats.
Akhilesh has been unhappy over the declaration of candidates by Mulayam which included certain names to whose nomination the Chief Minister had strong reservation.
This came after he met party MLAs, who were left out in the list of 325 declared candidates announced by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday.
The senior Yadav’s announcement was being viewed as a clear snub to son Akhilesh Yadav,as he ‘ignored’ his son’s objections to certain names, and “ruled out” alliance with any party for the upcoming polls.
At a hurriedly convened press conference here, the SP patriarch released the list of 325 candidates, giving tickets to 176 sitting MLAs. Names of candidates for rest of the 78 seats would be announced soon, he said, flanked by state party chief Shivpal Yadav, while Chief Minister Akhilesh was away on a tour.
Surprisingly, the list carries names of Sigbatullah Ansari, who is the brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including of murder and attempt to murder.