Battle for UP: Samajwadi party faces problem of plenty

Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party, which has been happily inducting leaders from other parties, is now facing the problem of plenty.

Too many claimants on every seat and the threat of the seat going to a new entrant is bound to create problems for SP president Akhilesh Yadav who will have a tough time handling the dissent in party ranks.

The eleven legislators who have walked in from BJP, and the nine legislators who came in earlier from BSP and others who have been joining the SP over the past months, are all claimants for tickets.

“Till now there are around four dozen leaders from other parties who have joined SP and want tickets. Besides, the party is giving around 60 tickets to the allies, including Rashtriya Lok Dal. This implies that around 100 tickets are not available to those party leaders who have worked relentlessly in their respective constituencies in the past five years,” said a senior party functionary.

The entry of top leaders like Swami Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan, Dharam Singh Saini of BJP, Imran Masood of the Congress and Ram Achal Rajbhar and Lalji Verma of BSP, has left the SP workers in their constituencies worried.

“Inducting leaders, just weeks or months before the elections, is unethical and unfair for those who have worked on the ground. We toil for five years and then a leader walks in from another party and takes away the ticket. What are we expected to do in such a situation?” asked a SP ticket aspirant from Ambedkar Nagar.

He said that he had met a senior party leader in this regard and was told, “wait for next time”.

“The next time is five years away,” he said.

Samajwadi Party MLA Manoj Pandey, for instance, is the sitting MLA from the Unchahar seat for the second consecutive term.

He had defeated Swami Prasad Maurya’s son Utkasrh Maurya twice-once, when he contested on the BSP ticket and on the BJP ticket.

Pandey has been on tenterhooks ever since Maurya switched to Samajwadi Party this week.

Akhilesh will have a tough time taking a call on this seat.

Sources said that he has offered a seat to Maurya’s son from Prayagraj but the decision is still pending.

In Saharanpur, the SP has two new leaders -Dharam Singh Saini and Imran Masood.

Their decision to join the SP has already unsettled few leaders and their supporters in Saharanpur not only from the SP but its alliance partner RLD which wields its influence over west UP.

“The Samajwadi Party has a very committed cadre but if they get upset, it would not augur well for the party. The cadres have faced adverse circumstances in the past five years but have remained loyal to the leadership which will now have to assuage feelings on these 100 seats,” said political analyst and senior journalist R K Singh.

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