Almost every major political party, barring the Mayawati-led BSP, has been hit by large-scale dissension over selecting candidates in Uttar Pradesh in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.
Widespread resentment and public protesting by cadres have forced parties to launch damage-control exercises. They have been trying to rein in rebel leaders, who, in many cases, have threatened to contest as independents against the official nominees.
Though the Samajwadi Party (SP) had finalised its candidates quite early in a bid to take a lead over others in preparing for the polls, the party had to contend with internal discord and, as a result, change a large number of candidates.
But resentment persists. UP minister Iqbal Mehmood has asked SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to remove Shafik-ur-Rehman Burq, the party’s nominee from Sambhal Lok Sabha seat, after the latter's supporters allegedly attacked the former's house in Sambhal a few days back. Burq is considered to be close to UP minister Azam Khan, a political heavyweight in the state.
The SP also faced protests from workers over the selection of candidates from a dozen seats, including Gonda, Shravasti, Saharanpur, Bulandshahar, Nagina, Jaunour, Farrukhabad and Sultanpur.
The BJP has also been grappling with large-scale resentment over its list of nominees from UP, and in some places local leaders even burnt effigies of party chief Rajnath Singh.
The saffron party has launched a massive damage-control exercise in ten constituencies where differences still persist.
The Congress' situation is no different. Revolt in the party over nominees came out in the open when party workers staged demonstrations at several places against many official nominees.
According to party sources there was strong resentment among party workers over giving former Indian cricketer Mohammed Kaif a ticket from Phulpur as well as Bhojpuri film star Ravi Kishen from Jaunpur. The party also faced rebellion from Mohanlal Ganj and Sitapur.
Even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not free from dissension. AAP workers reportedly burnt their trademark caps in Etah town in protest against nomination of Dilip Yadav.
Around a hundred workers and leaders have resigned from the party. The party was already facing opposition for nominating Khalid Parvez as its candidate from Moradabad.