Lucknow. The politics of defection is at its peak just before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections (UP Election 2022). Meanwhile, due to the increasing number of prominent leaders joining the Samajwadi Party from other parties, the already existing candidates for the ticket in the party are apprehensive about their political future. On Friday, two former ministers and six MLAs, including Swami Prasad Maurya, left the Bharatiya Janata Party and joined the SP. It is believed that most of them have changed parties with the intention of contesting on SP ticket, which may pose a big challenge for the adjustment of candidates in front of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Swami Prasad Maurya is a member of the Legislative Assembly from Padrauna seat of Kushinagar district, where the SP leadership has no difficulty in his adjustment. Sources say that Maurya wants his son Utkrisht Maurya to contest from Unchahar seat of Rae Bareli district. Utkrisht Maurya had contested the 2017 elections from Unchahar assembly constituency on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, but was defeated by Manoj Kumar Pandey of the Samajwadi Party. Not only this, Pandey had defeated Utkrisht Maurya, who was a candidate from Bahujan Samaj Party, in the 2012 elections. Manoj Kumar Pandey, who was a cabinet minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led government from 2012 to 2017, is a prominent face. While the Mauryas come from a very backward caste.
Swami Prasad Maurya said this
On the question of the condition of the ticket to the son, Maurya had said in the past that the son-daughter ticket does not matter to him. However, if Maurya asks for a ticket from Unchahar for his son, then it is bound to be difficult for Akhilesh Yadav. A party leader, who did not wish to be named, said if Maurya insisted on a ticket for his son, Pandey could be fielded from another seat. Since Manoj Pandey has prepared himself from Unchahar this time too, it is natural for him to be confused about contesting from another constituency.
Will former MP Rakesh Pandey get a chance?
Similarly, a few days ago, former MP Rakesh Pandey left the BSP and joined the SP, about which Subhash Rai is worried. Subhash Rai, who won the election on SP ticket from Jalalpur seat of Ambedkarnagar district in the assembly by-election, accepted that now the party will field Rakesh Pandey from Jalalpur. However, with the pain of not getting the ticket, he said that the national president (Akhilesh Yadav) has assured him of adjustment. Rakesh Pandey’s son Ritesh Pandey is a Bahujan Samaj Party MP from Ambedkarnagar Lok Sabha constituency.
Imran Masood and Dharam Singh Saini will also cause trouble
Similar is the case of Imran Masood, former secretary of Congress, a native of Saharanpur. Dharam Singh Saini, who defeated Imran Masood, the Congress candidate in the Nakud assembly seat of Saharanpur in 2017, also resigned from the post of AYUSH minister in the Uttar Pradesh government and joined the Samajwadi Party on Friday. The SP chief may face difficulties in striking a balance between Imran Masood, who has his own importance in Muslim politics, and Dharam Singh Saini, who is interfering in Shakya, Saini and Kushwaha society.
Akbarpur of Ambedkar Nagar district can become a challenge
In this way, Ramamurthy Verma, who was a cabinet minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led government in 2017, was defeated by Bahujan Samaj Party candidate and former state president Ram Achal Rajbhar in Akbarpur assembly seat of Ambedkarnagar district. About two months ago, Ram Achal Rajbhar joined the Samajwadi Party. On the day Rajbhar had come to meet Akhilesh Yadav at the SP headquarters, on the same day, Verma’s supporters reached the SP office in large numbers and pressurized him to give ticket to Verma.
Not only this, Chaudhary Amar Singh, MLA of Apna Dal (Sonelal), who won from the BJP alliance from Shohratgarh seat of Siddharthnagar, resigned from his party and joined the Samajwadi Party on Friday. In this seat, Ugrasen Singh of SP had lost the election to Amar Singh last time.
From Western UP to Eastern UP, the challenge is the challenge
It is looking difficult for the Samajwadi Party in various districts from western Uttar Pradesh to eastern Uttar Pradesh. Sibagatullah Ansari, the brother of Mau’s Bahubali MLA Mukhtar Ansari, joined the Samajwadi Party a few months ago, which the ruling BJP also accused the SP of patronizing the mafia. However, Akhilesh Yadav had refused to merge the Ansari brothers’ Quami Ekta Dal with the SP before the 2017 elections. Supporters of Altaf Ansari, who have been fighting hard against Mukhtar in Mau from the SP for the last two elections, have become worried about the Mukhtar family’s growing closeness to Akhilesh Yadav.
At the same time, Altaf Ansari said that it is my misfortune that I lost the election twice, but from the day the National President ordered me to contest, the people are ready and people will give one vote to the SP. On the possibility of giving ticket to Mukhtar Ansari, he said, “I am campaigning for myself, I have been SP candidate twice and I have faith in Akhilesh Yadav’s leadership that he will make me the candidate again.”