“The list has been declared early so that the financially weak candidates get ample time to cover their constituency,” said party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, whose son Akshay Yadav was named candidate from Firozabad.
Although the SP had announced that sitting MLAs will not be named for the Lok Sabha election, Speaker Pandey will contest from Dumariyaganj, where he had lost in 2009, Minister of State for PWD and Irrigation Surendra Singh Patel will contest from Varanasi while Rajmati Nishad, MLA from Pipraich, will contest from Gorakhpur.
The SP is the first party in the state to formally announce a list of candidates. Although the BSP has finalised its candidates for most of the 80 Lok Sabha seats and informally asked them to start preparations, it has not made any formal announcement.
Ram Gopal Yadav ruled out any changes in the list, unless there were exceptional circumstances.
From the Yadav clan, party president Mulayam Singh Yadav has been repeated from Mainpuri, Dimple Yadav from Kannauj and Dharmendra Yadav from Badaun. This will be Akshay Yadav’s first election.
Among the party hoppers in the list, most have come from the BSP. They include Devendra Singh, who had contested as BSP candidate from Etah in 2009, and criminal history sheeter Arun Kumar Shukla, who was BSP candidate from Unnao in 2009. Both will contest from their old constituencies.
Ram Gopal claimed that none in the list was a tainted man. “If a case is registered against me, that does not make me a criminal,” he said.
Other turncoats are Sarvraj Singh, who has come from the BSP, for Aonla; Jai Prakash Rawat, who had contested as BSP candidate from Hardoi in 2009, for Mishrikh seat; S T Hasan, who has also come from BSP, from Moradabad; Budhsen Verma, who has also come from BSP, for Pilibhit; and Nahid Hasan from Kairana, although his mother Tabassum Hasan is BSP MP from Kairana.
Among the relatives of SP leaders are Humera, wife of Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Kamal Akhter from Amroha; Kirti Vardhan Singh, son of Agriculture Minister Anand Singh, from Gonda. Incidentally, Kirti Vardhan Singh had contested the 2009 elections on a BSP ticket and lost to Beni Prasad Verma of the Congress.
Brij Kishore Singh, the brother of Horticulture Minister Raj Kishore Singh, has been fielded from Basti seat; Seema Mishra, who is the daughter of criminal history sheeter MLA Vijay Mishra, has been fielded from Bhadohi, and Minister of State for Minority Welfare Chitranjan Swaroop’s son Gaurav Swaroop for Muzaffarnagar.
Among the senior leaders are Ramji Lal Suman from Hathras as he had lost from Agra in 2009, former minister Vishambher Prasad Nishad, who had lost the Assembly election, has been fielded from Hamirpur, and Shakeel Ahmed, who was denied a ticket in Assembly election, has been fielded from Sultanpur.
Former minister Ashok Bajpayee, who had lost the Assembly election from Sawaijpur in Hardoi, will contest from Lucknow. Anand Bhadauria, national president of Lohia Vahini, will contest from Dhaurahra which is represented by Union minister Jitin Prasada.
The party has re-fielded 18 sitting MPs. They include, besides Mulayam Singh, Dimple Yadav and Dharmendra,Yashveer Singh from Nageena, Mithilesh Kumar from Shahjahanpur, Usha Verma from Hardoi, Premdas Katheria from Etawah, Ghanshyam Anuragi from Jalaun, R K Patel from Banda, Rakesh Sachan from Fatehpur, Shailendra Kumar from Kaushambi, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from Kaiserganj, Neeraj Shekhar from Ballia, Toofani Saroj from Machli Shaher, Sushila Saroj from Mohanlalganj and Pakaudi Lal from Robertsganj.
No SP concession to Ajit, Jayant
The party named Dr Vijay Kumar Singh as its candidate for Baghpat and former MLA Chandan Singh for Mathura seat. Baghpat is represented by RLD chief and Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, while Mathura is represented by his son Jayant Choudhary.