The Samajwadi Party (SP) Chief, Mulayam Singh, feels that the coming Lok Sabha Elections will be held in 2013. That is why the SP has made its move by announcing, in the third week of November, the names of 64 candidates out of 80 for the coming Lok Sabha Elections. While distributing the tickets, care was taken that the candidate must be a winning candidate. This thinking has forced the party High Command, which once talked of a transparent image, to give tickets to defectors and prominent leaders of the party. Starting from Mulayam Singh’s family, tickets were given to the three present MPs of the SP viz. Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri, Dimple Yadav from Kannauj and Dharmendra Yadav from Badaun. Ajay Singh Yadav, son of Ram Gopal Yadav, National General Secretary of the SP, has also been brought into politics – he has been given the Firozabad ticket. The possibility of Prateek Yadav, Mulayam Singh’s second son, also entering politics and being given a ticket from the Azamgarh Lok Sabha Constituency was discussed as well. But in the second list, the name of Balram Yadav figures for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha Constituency.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, the SP Chief, has always been accused of nepotism, but has never bothered about it. On the one hand, he always fulfills his duties as the Chief of the SP and on the other hand, as the head (mukhiya) of his family, he nurtures a special attachment for his family and has never hesitated to draw them into politics. That is why in the present scenario, the number of Legislators and Members of Parliament (MPs) from the family of Mulayam Singh is much higher than that of other political families of the country. Now, there is also a possibility that the number may increase after the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Many family members of Mulayam Singh contested in the last Lok Sabha Elections and most of them tasted victory. It is obvious that such members will come out with flying colours again. Apart from this, the members who were unable to win the last time are now being allowed to contest in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. The SP Chief has shown boldness in providing tickets to his family members and was generous too in providing tickets to the relatives of other veteran leaders of the party.
Many family members of Mulayam Singh contested in the last Lok Sabha Elections and most of them tasted victory. It is obvious that such members will come out with flying colours again. Apart from this, the members who were unable to win the last time are now being allowed to contest in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. The SP Chief has shown boldness in providing tickets to his family members and was generous too in providing tickets to the relatives of other veteran leaders of the party.
Due to lack of any yardstick for the distribution of tickets, the High Command distributed tickets of its own free will. Among the other veteran leaders of the SP, Humera Akhtar, wife of Panchayati Raj Minister of State, Kamal Akhtar has been given the ticket from Amroha Lok Sabha Constituency. Kirti Vardhan Singh, son of Agriculture Minister Anand Singh from Gonda, Brij Kishore, brother of Horticulture Minister Raj Kishore from Basti and Devendra Singh Yadav, father-in-law of Pandhari Yadav, Special Secretary to the Chief Minister, were also included among the first list of 64 candidates. Previously, Devendra Singh Yadav was an MP from Etah and has recently joined the SP. Likewise Seema Mishra, daughter of powerful Legislator, Vijay Mishra from Bhadohi Parliamentary Constituency and Gaurav Swarup, son of the Urban Development Minister in the Cabinet of Akhilesh Yadav, Chittaranjan Swarup from Muzaffarnagar Constituency have also been declared as candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Mahendra Verma, brother of the Social Welfare Minister, Narendra Verma, has been given the ticket from Sitapur. Previously, Mahendra was the Chairman of the Sitapur District Panchayat. Kajal Sharma, wife of powerful Legislator Bhagawan Sharma alias Guddu Pandit has been given the ticket form Debai seat of Bulandshahr.
Apart from the family members of Mulayam Singh and other veteran leaders of the party, some seats were also provided to the Cabinet Ministers of the Akhilesh Government and the other current Legislators of the SP. Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey was selected to contest in the elections. Tickets were also provided to Water Resources Minister Om Prakash Singh, Labour Minister of State, Shahid Manzoor, Panchayati Minister of State, Balram Yadav and State Minister of Public Works, Surendra Singh Patel from Ghazipur, Meerut, Azamgarh and Varanasi respectively. Out of the present MPs of the party, 18 have been provided with tickets this time. But three MPs were also removed from the list. The current MP of Ghazipur, Radhe Mohan Singh, was replaced by Minister Om Prakash Singh, the current MP from the reserved seat of Bulandshahr, Kamlesh Balmiki, was replaced by Ravi Gautam and the current MP from Banda, R.K Singh Patel, was replaced by businessman Shyama Charan Gupta. Kamlesh Balmiki was provided a ticket in the last elections due to his close relations with Kalyan Singh. At that time, relations between Mulayam Singh and Kalyan Singh were good. But as soon as these circumstances changed, Balmiki fell from favour.
Turning to the defectors and powerful leaders of the party, Arun Kumar Shukla alias Anna was a leader of the SP, but later joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He contested in the last Lok Sabha Elections from Unnao. As he was unable to win, the BSP Supremo Mayawati sidelined him, and he rejoined the SP. Now the SP has placed bets on him from Unnao. Tabassum Hasan, mother of Nahid Hasan (who has got the ticket from Kairana of Shamli district) is currently an MP of the BSP. Incidentally, his father, the late Munawwar Hasan was an MP of the SP. Sudhan Rawat who has got the ticket from Ghaziabad is the brother of Ram Naresh Yadav, ex-State President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Kisan Morcha. During the civic polls, Sudhan got support from the SP. Other leaders who rejoined the SP are Devendra Singh Yadav from Etah Constituency, Rajrani Rawat from Barabanki Constituency, Kirti Vardhan Singh from Gonda Constituency and Jai Prakash Rawat from Misrikh Constituency. All of them were from the BSP except Rajrani Rawat who was from the BJP. However, some of them have already served as an MP or a Legislator from the SP. The youth leaders of the party have not been dispirited either. The young faces of the SP included in the candidates list are Akshay Yadav, son of Ram Gopal Yadav, Anand Bhadauria, Shakeel Ahmed, K.P. Yadav, ex- Chairman of Uttar Pradesh (UP) ‘Gauseva’ (Cattle Conservation) Commission, Seema Mishra, Gaurav Swarup, Nahid Hasan, Vijay Kumar Singh etc.
The most surprising decision taken by Mulayam Singh has been his choice for the Lucknow Parliamentary seat. He has placed a bet by selecting an ex- Minister from Hardoi, Ashok Vajpayee, to contest from Lucknow. It will not be easy for Ashok Vajpayee to contest from Lucknow. The SP has put up Ashok Vajpayee from Lucknow to attract Brahmin votes. The SP knows that the message from Lucknow will reach the entire State. However, it is also being said that Ashok Vajpayee was given the Lucknow ticket because Naresh Agarwal, a strong SP leader, will be contesting from the Hardoi Parliamentary seat, and Naresh did not want Ashok Vajpayee to create any obstacles for him.
Lok Sabha Elections Lists
Protests within The SP
The Chief of the SP, Mulayam Singh Yadav, doesn’t think that the UPA Government will wait till 2014 for the Lok Sabha Elections. He is expecting that the next General Elections will be held in 2013. “Whenever the elections occur, we have to put up a strong fight and achieve success. Our actual examination will be in the Lok Sabha Elections. Like the Vidhan Sabha Elections, we will have to win maximum seats from UP, only then will our power will be secure in Delhi”. The SP Chief has indicated that there are chances of Lok Sabha Elections being held in 2013. The Central ruling party and other Opposition parties may be in a dilemma, but the SP is not in any kind of dilemma about the elections. “No matter when the elections are held, we have made our preparations. We have also published our second candidates list. In doing so we are providing enough time for the candidates to do undertake election publicity and make necessary arrangements in their respective areas”. While Mulayam Singh is pretty certain and confident about the Lok Sabha Elections, the mood within the party is different. Protests started as soon as the name of the candidates were announced. There have been strong objections to the candidature of powerful Legislator Arun Kumar Shukla alias Anna Maharaj from Unnao. It is more than likely that sooner or later, the same situation will be seen at other places too.
— Sanjay Saxena