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Battle for UP: SP fields jailed ex-minister's wife

IANS | January 26, 2022 12:02 PM

LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party has announced Maharaji Prajapati, the wife of jailed former minister Gayatri Prajapati, as its candidate from Amethi.

Gayatri Prajapati, an influential minister in the Akhilesh regime, was arrested in March 2017 on charges of corruption and rape. He is still in jail.

In its list of 39 candidates released on Tuesday night, the SP has given over 39 per cent tickets to Dalits and women.

The party, for the first time in 15 years, has fielded a candidate against independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh a.k.a.Raja Bhaiyya in Kunda. The SP has nominated Gulshan Yadav from Kunda.

Raja Bhaiyya's proximity with SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is well known but his relationship with Akhilesh soured when the latter inked an alliance with BSP in 2019 and Raja Bhaiyya voted against the alliance candidate in Rajya Sabha elections.

The party has also accommodated sitting BJP MLA from Nanpara, Madhuri Verma and named former minister Pawan Pandey as its candidate from Ayodhya.

Another sitting BSP MLA Hakim Chand Bind is SP candidate from Hardiya, Prayagraj.

The lone Muslim candidate in the list is sitting SP MLA, Yasar Shah, from Matera Assembly seat of Bahraich.

The SP chief has also accommodated former minister, late Pandit Singh's nephew Suraj Singh from Gonda city and retained former MP and SP veteran Reoti Raman Singh's son sitting MLA Ujjwal Raman Singh in Karchana.

Party general secretary Indrajit Saroj is SP candidate from Manjhanpur.

The list includes the name of Santosh Pandey from Lambhua in Sultanpur and Ram Singh Patel, former SP MLA, from Patti in Pratapgarh. Ram Singh happens to be the son of former MP Bal Kumar who is the brother of slain dreaded dacoit Dadua.

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