Mulayam banks on 'winnability'

SP chief is personally assessing chances of Lok Sabha candidates

Apparently hoping to strike rich from Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has hinted on several occasions that he indeed nurtures prime ministerial ambition, does not want to leave any stone unturned in achieving his objective.

Mulayam, whose party has so far declared as many as 60 candidates for the next Lok Sabha polls, has been personally assessing the winnability of each nominee, according to party sources here.

“For us, winnability is the most important factor in the selection of candidates,” said a senior SP leader here.

Sources said the party has formed a team of observers to assess the winnability of the party’s nominees from different constituencies. “These observers will speak to local leaders and a cross section of the electorate to ascertain whether the nominee can emerge victorious,” a party leader said.

He said the party will not hesitate to change its candidate if it was found that he was not in a position to win or if there were complaints against him.

In the past too, the SP chief had changed the nominees after getting reports about his chances of winning at the hustings though at some places, the candidate expressed his reluctance to enter the fray.

SP had replaced Anuradha Chaudhary with Ameer Alam in Bijnore, while Kajal Sharma was replaced by Zafar Alam in Aligarh. It also dropped Kirtivardhan Singh from Gonda and replaced him with Rahul Shukla.

Senior SP leader and minister Balram Yadav, who was nominated from Azamgarh, reportedly expressed his reluctance to contest and was replaced by Hawildar Singh.

Some places also saw protests after the changes were announced. In Gonda, Kiritivardhan Singh’s supporters clashed with Shukla’s supporters at a recent meeting.
The party feels Mulayam will have a real chance to occupy the top post if the SP is able to win at least 40 seats in the polls. “With a fractured mandate and decline in the seats of Congress and BJP a near certainty, Mulayam’s chances will brighten if we secure 40-45 seats in UP,” the leader said.

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