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UP Elections: Deoband Seat Sees Contest before Polls with 2 SP Leaders Filing Nominations on Last Day

When asked about the confusion, Kartikeya Rana said he had filed his nomination again on the request of the party high command. News18 pic

When asked about the confusion, Kartikeya Rana said he had filed his nomination again on the request of the party high command. News18 pic

After Maviya Ali filed his nomination in the morning, Kartikeya Rana resubmitted his candidature. The conflict was only resolved after the intervention of the party's top leadership, sources said, and Rana was announced as the SP candidate.

Before the Samajwadi Party could take on Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for the state’s 403 assembly seats in the February-March elections, it saw a ‘contest’ in its own ranks with two of its leaders on Friday vying for the Deoband constituency on the last day of filing nominations for the seat.

The drama ensued as Maviya Ali, who contested unsuccessfully for the seat in the 2017 assembly polls, arrived in the morning to file his nomination.

Within an hour, Kartikeya Rana, son of a former minister in the erstwhile SP government, came to the collectorate flanked by Congress turncoat and now Samajwadi Party leader Imran Masood to re-submit his nomination.

Rana had already filed his nomination and his name was registered on the Election Commission of India website as a Samajwadi Party candidate.

The conflict was only resolved after the intervention of the party’s top leadership, sources stated. Rana was announced as the SP candidate for the Deoband constituency.

Earlier, Rana had filed his nomination and posted videos of Ali’s supporters celebrating his candidature.

While submitting his nomination, Maviya Ali expressed confidence that he will be able to get Rana on his side, calling him his “younger brother”.

Little did he know that Rana would refile his nomination and get Ali’s cancelled. Flanking Rana was SP leader Imran Masood.

When asked about the infighting in the party even before campaigning begins, Masood explained the unfolding of events leading up to the nomination of the final candidate by the party.

“The party has issued the letter for Kartikeya Rana. I was directed by Prof Ram Gopal Yadav (SP secretary general) to reach here. The letter mentioned form C (for nomination) for Rana and cancelling Maviya’s nominations. Individual ambitions aren’t above party,” said Masood.

Asked about the confusion, Kartikeya Rana said he had filed his nomination again on the request of the party high command.

“I can only speak about myself. I have come on the directions of the party’s high command. Everyone has a right to demand a ticket. Everyone will be together in a matter of two days,” he said.

Deoband will be going to the polls in the second round of the seven-phase UP elections on February 14.

Kunwar Brijesh Singh, BJP candidate for the seat, while reacting to the SP’s infighting over candidature, said, “Akhilesh Yadav can’t keep his house in order. How can he be expected to manage the state? There are at least 17 instances where two candidates submitted form C. He should focus on his own house first.”​

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