UP Elections 2017: Lok Dal Hopes Mulayam Singh Yadav Will Campaign for its Candidates
With Samajwadi party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav opposing the SP-Congress alliance, Lok Dal still sees an opportunity to convince him to campaign for its candidates in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
File photo of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav
Lucknow: With Samajwadi party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav opposing the SP-Congress alliance, Lok Dal still sees an opportunity to convince him to campaign for its candidates in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
"We are hopeful that 'netaji' (Mulayam) will campaign for our candidates. He was with our party and is a true samajwadi (socialist) and we are using his photograph in our campaign," Lok Dal National President Sunil Singh told PTI.
On senior party leader Shivpal Yadav's statement after filing his nominations from Jaswant Nagar (Etawah) that he will float a new party after March 11, Sunil said in an interview, "I hope we will remain together."
Lok Dal has already offered the embattled Samajwadi Party patriarch its symbol and national president's post.
Sunil said his party in EC's records was a registered, unrecognised party that was formed by veteran socialist leader Charan Singh way back in 1980 and "netaji" (Mualayam) was its founder member.
"I have offered Lok Dal's symbol and national president post to 'netaji', who is still our leader," he said.
Lok Dal, which has the old election symbol of 'farmer ploughing field (khet jotta kissan)', on which Charan Singh had become the chief minister of UP, wants to contest Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and has already short-listed names of 100 candidates.
In the 2012 elections, Lok Dal had contested 76 of the 403 seats and though its candidate did not win any seat, the party received 5,000 to 15,000 votes in most of the constituencies.
In UP, which is having a seven-phase polling beginning February 11, Lok Dal has decided to contest some 300 seats this time and 25-30 nominees are expected to be sitting MLAs of Samajwadi Party.
"We have given tickets to a number of sitting SP MLAs who are close to Mulayam-Shivpal and have been denied tickets. We expect 25-30 SP MLAs to contest from our party," Singh, who will be starting his party's campaign from February 2, said.
"I will be extensively campaigning for our candidates. And this time, people of the state will certainly select our party candidates," Singh, who is busy finalising tickets, said.
Taking full control of the ruling party after being crowned as its head at a national convention here on January 1 and after being alloted 'bicycle' symbol by the Election Commission on January 16, Akhilesh has been going whole hog consolidating his grip over the party.
He has forged an alliance with Congress without taking party patron Mulayam and Shivpal into confidence after which Mulayam has asked his loyalists to "contest on 105 seats given to Congress".
After Mulayam's directives, many SP leaders are coming to Lok Dal and preferring the party instead of contesting as Independents, Singh claimed.
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