The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BJP are facing dissent in party cadres over ticket distribution in the ongoing municipal elections.
The BJP has already expelled 300 rebel candidates who refused to withdraw their candidate despite persuasion by party leaders. Party leaders have been expelled in Mirzapur, Lakhimpur, Gona, Unnao, Fatehpur and Varanasi.
In the SP, six-time MLA from Amritpur in Farrukhabad, Narendra Singh Yadav, joined the BJP on Monday along with his daughter Mona Yadav, who is the zila panchayat chairperson, and son Sachin Yadav.
SP MP from Sambhal, Shafiqur Rahman Barq, has been publicly voicing his growing disenchantment with the party leadership with the choice of candidate for the post of Sambhal municipal council chairperson. Rukhsana Mehmood, wife of local MLA Iqbal Mehmood Barq, has also announced that she would support independent candidate Farhan Saifi instead.
Recently, the veteran politician had made headlines for showering praises on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati. Describing Mayawati as a political personality, Barq went on to say the country needs a leader like her. He said as a Muslim, he supports her.
Four-term MLA and five times MP Barq had defected from the SP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, joined the BSP and went on to win the elections. However, in the run-up to the 2019 polls, he returned to the SP fold and is presently the party’s sitting MP from Sambhal.
Similarly, in Ballia, party MLA Mohammed Ziauddin Rizvi has announced his support for independent candidate Bhishma Yadav after the party declared Dinesh Chaudhary as official SP candidate for the post of chairman of Sikandarpur Nagar panchayat.
In another part of Ballia, the party leadership had to expel four leaders for not accepting the party’s choice of candidate for municipal council chairperson. Taking serious note of party leader Sanjay Upadhyay filing his candidature for the post despite the party nominating Laxman Gupta, the SP leadership sacked him for a period of six years. Three of his supporters were also sacked from the party for a year.
The party is finding itself in a tight spot after it named Parasnath as the candidate for the Rae Bareli municipality.
Soon after this, the second contender, SP leader Mohammed Iliyas, sided with the Congress along with his supporters.
In Shahjahanpur, the SP faced major embarrassment when Archana Verma, daughter-in-law of four-time MLA and two-time MP late Ram Murti Singh Verma, despite being declared official party candidate for the post of Shahjahanpur municipal corporation may, defected to the BJP and filed her nomination papers for the mayor’s post as the saffron party candidate.
A senior SP leader said, “Parties that have a strong presence in the political arena, often face such situations because there are multiple candidates for a seat in elections. You will never see any such problem in parties that have no ground left in UP.”