UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Cracks Emerge In SP Over Candidate Selection In Muslim Dominated Constituencies

UP Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Cracks Emerge In SP Over Candidate Selection In Muslim Dominated Constituencies

SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav and senior party leader and former Rampur MP Azam Khan, currently incarcerated in Sitapur district jail, are at odds over the nomination of candidates for these crucial seats.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 10:47 PM IST
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SP chief Akhilesh Yadav | File pic

Lucknow: Tensions within the Samajwadi Party (SP) have escalated following disagreements over candidate selections for the Rampur and Moradabad Lok Sabha constituencies, both dominated by Muslim voters. SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav and senior party leader and former Rampur MP Azam Khan, currently incarcerated in Sitapur district jail, are at odds over the nomination of candidates for these crucial seats.

As the deadline for filing nominations for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections expired on Wednesday, two SP candidates each had submitted their papers for Rampur and Moradabad.

While Akhilesh Yadav has acquiesced to Azam Khan's request to deny a ticket to sitting Moradabad MP ST Hasan, nominating Ruchi Veera instead, this decision has sparked dissent among Hasan's supporters. ST Hasan had filed his nomination on Tuesday, whereas Ruchi Veera submitted hers on Wednesday.

Responding to Veera's nomination, ST Hasan stated, "Akhilesh Yadav is the leader of the party. He can nominate anyone he deems fit." However, he expressed disappointment over the denial of a ticket to a Muslim candidate in Moradabad during what he described as challenging times for Muslims in India.

In a move that further illustrates the discord within the party, SP has sidelined Asim Raza, a protege of Azam Khan, from the Rampur Lok Sabha seat, nominating Mohibbul Nadvi instead. Nadvi, the Imam of a mosque on Parliament Street, Delhi, replaces Raza, who had previously contested unsuccessfully in a by-poll for the same seat in June 2022.

Akhilesh Yadav had consulted Azam Khan in jail last week regarding the selection of candidates for Rampur and Moradabad. Speculation arose on Tuesday night that the party might replace Hasan with Ruchi Veera in Moradabad, a move allegedly influenced by Azam Khan's discontent with Hasan's candidacy.

The party now faces a delicate situation in both constituencies, with one candidate owing allegiance to Azam Khan and the other nominated by Akhilesh Yadav. To mitigate the crisis, the SP has enlisted senior party leader Shiv Pal Yadav for damage control, who is set to meet Azam Khan in jail to address the escalating tensions.

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