SP indicates no candidates against Sonia, Rahul in Lok Sabha polls

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Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday indicated that it may not field candidates against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul in their constituencies in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The SP has announced its nominees for 78 of the 80 Parliamentary constituencies in UP and not named anyone so far to contest from Rae Bareli and Amethi–the two Lok Sabha seats from where the Congress President and Vice President respectively are seeking re-election.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav replied in the affirmative when asked by newsmen whether the ruling SP was showing “political courtesy” by not fielding candidates against Sonia and Rahul in the pocket borough of the Gandhi family.

Akhilesh said his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had not announced any candidates yet for Rae Bareli and Amethi and noted that the SP had not put up nominees in the two constituencies in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. “We have earlier not fielded candidates in Rae Bareli and Amethi. They have shown courtesy by not fielding candidate in Kannauj (against wife Dimple Yadav). Till now, netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has not given candidates in Rae Bareli and Amethi,” Akhilesh, who is also the state president of SP, told reporters.

Asked about the possibility of his party supporting Congress after Lok Sabha polls, he said nobody knows how the future will unfold. “A number of parties are looking at SP. Some front of these parties will be ready for Lok Sabha polls. Our emphasis is on winning maximum number of seats,” the Chief Minister said. To a query about BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s allegation that UP had witnessed 150 riots, Akhilesh said everyone knew the “reality” of BJP and that it could do any “propaganda” for winning seats. On SP changing party candidates declared earlier, he said his party had a lot of candidates unlike others, who were yet to finalise their candidates.

Asked about former party leader Amar Singh joining RLD, Yadav said “he does not comment on his uncle.” “Its good if he has gone there,” he said.

Meanwhile, following objection by the Election Commission on use of word ‘Samajwadi’ in the name of an ambulance service being run in UP, Akhilesh defended the practice saying that the word was derived from the Constitution. The EC on Saturday issued a notice to the SP government for using word ‘Samajwadi’ in the name of the service run under National Rural Health Mission. The scheme is named Samajwadi Ambulance Sewa.

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