SP's musical chairs with nominees

SP's musical chairs with nominees

Even though the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh are over a month away, the Samajwadi Party (SP), the main Opposition party in the state, may already have created a record, albeit of an altogether different kind.

The party has changed its candidate from an Assembly seat for seventh time creating a record of sort and also in the process confusing its workers and local leaders along with the nominee himself as he has no idea if his candidature is final or whether there would be another change.

The Assembly constituency in question is Lamhuan in UP's Sultanpur district, about 150 kilometres from here. It has become a bone of contention not only in the party leaders but also in a family. It all started about six months back, when the party declared Santosh Pandey, who has the image of a muscleman, as its candidate from the seat. Before Santosh could start making preparations, the party replaced him with his elder brother and former legislator Anil Pandey.

Santosh vehemently opposed his brother's candidature and along with his supporters met the party’s state leaders to press his claim to the seat. His pressure tactics proved successful and he was again renominated as the party candidate from Lamhuan, much to the shock of Anil.

However, now Anil mounted pressure and the party, realising that a tussle between the two brothers could harm its prospects, decided to field someone else and nominated I P Mishra as its candidate. Mishra's candidature was also opposed by the Pandey brothers and he was later replaced with one Surabhi Shukla, an outsider.

A few days later, the party leadership, following opposition from the local leaders, replaced Surabhi with Santosh Pandey yet again.

Now it was the turn of Ms Shukla to cry foul and mount pressure on the leadership and she managed to wrest the nomination after a few days.

Late on Saturday night, however, the party announced that the ticket fro Lamhuan seat had been given to Santosh Pandey again.

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