Uttar Pradesh ministers fear axe if poll results go bad

Anxiety looms over the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, as leaders expect heads to roll on a large-scale in the Akhilesh Yadav-led government if predictions of a poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections were proven correct. 

Amid concerns triggered by the prospect of a dismal performance, predicted by almost all exit polls, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s warning that ministers could lose their jobs if candidates in Lok Sabha constituencies in their areas were to lose has come to haunt those in key positions.

Mulayam had also warned  presidents and chairmans of public corporations and other government bodies and those who are ministers of state in the UP government that they would be taken to task should candidates from their home lose the elections.

The SP has fielded five ministers, besides Assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey. Ministers include Paras Nath Yadav from Jaunpur, Shahid Manzorr from Meerut, Vinod Kumar Singh from Kaiserganj, Kailash Chaurasia from Varanasi and Surendra patel from Mirzapur.

The SP government had “obliged” senior leaders and “deserters” with chairmanships and presidencies of several state-owned bodies on the condition that they would ensure victory for SP nominees in their areas.

“IF exit polls were to be correct, we would see large-scale sackings,” admitted a SP leader. There are 100 ministers of state in the over-sized Akhilesh Yadav ministry.

SP sources also said the party has received reports of “sabotage” by senior leaders in some seats.

Sources said the party leadership is not certain about its performance, hoping that the exit polls would be proved wrong. Most exit polls gave seven to 12 seats for the party, predicting that the BSP would end up second behind the BJP.

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