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Lok Sabha polls | Akhilesh shuns 'Muslim-Yadav' combination in ticket distribution

Among the 57 candidates declared by the SP so far, only four are Muslims and four are from the Yadav community. The majority of candidates are from general, Scheduled Caste (SC), and non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBC) backgrounds.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 13:57 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 13:57 IST

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Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav's strategic shift in candidate selection for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections is being perceived as an effort to reshape his party's image away from being seen as 'pro-Muslim' and 'pro-Yadav'.

The SP, aligned with the I.N.D.I.A. bloc and contesting in alliance with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, will contest on 62 seats, leaving 17 for the Congress and one for the TMC.

Among the 57 candidates declared by the SP so far, only four are Muslims and four are from the Yadav community. The majority of candidates are from general, Scheduled Caste (SC), and non-Yadav Other Backward Classes (OBC) backgrounds.

The party has fielded Muslim candidates from Rampur, Kairana, Sambhal and Ghazipur. It has fielded candidates from the Yadav community from Azamgarh, Badaun, Firozabad and Mainpuri.

Interestingly, all the Yadav nominees selected by the SP are members of Akhilesh Yadav's family. Akhilesh's wife, Dimple Yadav, is contesting from Mainpuri, while his three cousins—Dharmendra Yadav, Akshoy Yadav, and Aditya Yadav—are contesting from Azamgarh, Firozabad, and Budaun Lok Sabha seats respectively.

The party has kept local caste equations and its 'PDA' (Pichda, Dalit, and Alpsankhyak) slogan in mind while selecting its candidates. This approach was evident in the choice of candidates for Lok Sabha seats in Basti, Pratapgarh, Gonda, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Ambedkar Nagar, Banda, Lheri, and Pilibhit.

The party has fielded candidates hailing from Kurmi-Sainthwar (OBC) communities from these seats, apparently keeping in mind their electoral strength in specific constituencies. It has fielded nine candidates belonging to the general categories, 15 Scheduled Castes and 29 OBCs. It has also included candidates from the Jat, Gurjar, and Nishad communities.

It has also tried to send a message to the Dalit community by fielding Scheduled Caste nominees from general seats including Ayodhya and Meerut.

Party leaders here said that the selection of candidates revealed their commitment to the PDA slogan. ''We know that Yadavs and Muslims will support us in the polls. The candidates from the other communities will help us win over the votes from their communities,'' said a senior SP leader while speaking to DH.

The BJP has criticised the SP for allegedly favouring Muslims and Yadavs while neglecting other communities in its candidate selection. According to a political analyst in Lucknow, the SP's strategy appears aimed at distancing itself from its perceived 'pro-Muslim and pro-Yadav' image.

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Published 16 April 2024, 13:57 IST

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