UP: Cong, SP lag behind in announcing candidates
Lucknow, Mar 15: Even as the nominations for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections have started, the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Congress lagged behind in announcing the candidates for the crucial seven-phase polls.
Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has taken the lead in declaring the candidates releasing list of all 403 candidates in one go, the practice normally followed by the party in the past also.
The SP has declared most of the first phase candidates but the Congress is in the eyes of all the political observers for not being able to have decided even on a single candidate so far.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), though delayed the announcement by a couple of days, released the list of 317 candidates with indications of the 50 seats being given to allies like Apna Dal, JD(U) and other smaller parties. BJP, which had marathon meetings for the last few days, came out with the list only late last night.
The ruling SP had so far declared only 82 candidates, 58 of them to be fielded in the first phase. A total of 62 assembly constituencies would go to polls in the first phase on April 7.
SP spokesman S R S Yadav told sources that the candidates for other phase pollings would be declared in the phases very soon.
It is a common belief in the political circles that major political parties had been delaying the decision on the candidates as they were waiting for BSP list to be out.
True, the parties would have to redesign their strategy as far as the candidates are concerned simply because as many as 137 candidates belonged to upper caste in the BSP list, 87 of them being Brahmins.
The delay in announcement of SP candidates has been surprising for many as party President Mulayam Singh Yadav was perhaps the first to exhort his partymen to go into the election mode. In fact, he was espousing the cause of an early polls in the month of February.
Faced with the threat of anti-incumbency factor going against it and the preliminary CBI probe against Yadav family in the case of Disproportionate Assets (DA), the SP would take no chances to select their candidates hence the delay.
Congress, probably the weakest link in the crucial fight for power in the largest state of the country, is still sending conflicting signals about the candidates selection. The state leaders, who were reported to have been asked by the party to contest assembly polls, have chickened out and are not in the position to tell anything about the final list of the candidate.
According to the indications available at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) office here, the AICC is likley to release its first list of the candidates by this evening.