2017 Assembly polls: SP to announce second list

 Lucknow : Ruling Samajwadi Party is set to announce the second list of 20 candidates for the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh very soon. Party sources here today said the second list would cover up all the 169 seats, which the party had lost in the last assembly polls. The first list announced in March last declared 149 candidates which included two Peace Party candidates and an Independent MLA. Sources said the list of remaining candidates has been finalised and candidates in most seats are likely to be changed. The party had finished third and fourth on these seats last time. To fight anti-incumbency, the SP brass is likely to deny tickets to 80-100 sitting MLAs. This may include some ministers and former ministers, who were dropped from the council of ministers during the reshuffle in October, 2015. However, recently state PWD minister and election in-charge of the state Shivpal Singh Yadav had announced that all the sitting MLAs would be given party ticket for the 2017 elections. A senior leader said that the conduct of MLAs during the panchayat elections immensely helped the party for deciding candidates for each Assembly segment. The MLAs who rebelled against the party candidates during these polls are likely to face the axe. They will need a lot of explaining to do for winning back the confidence of the party brass. It is also felt that the selection for candidates in the 224 seats that it won, was deferred fearing defection as if a candidate was not chosen, it would have affected the stability of the Akhilesh Yadav government. Hence, the ruling party seemed in no hurry to initiate the process. The party added seven more seats to its kitty taking the tally to 231. Sources said several MLAs and ministers have urged the party brass to change their constituencies fearing anti-incumbency. Sources said, "The party brass is in the know that many sitting MLAs and several ministers being in touch with rivals like the BJP and the BSP. The moment they get the right signal, they would defect. Hence, the party will prefer the safe route and start choosing candidates six months before the 2017 polls."

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