Lucknow: The tussle within Samajwadi Party over ticket distribution for the upcoming assembly polls appears set for a showdown between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The senior Yadav had yesterday announced a list of 325 candidates. The list largely ignored the suggestions made by Akhilesh and did not mention names of pro-CM ministers and MLAs.
An upset Akhilesh met his supporters today to chart out the future course of action. He later met Mulayam Singh Yadav. However, what transpired in the meetings remains unknown.
In a step that revealed his willingness to not let go of his tussle with his uncle Shivpal Yadav, Akhilesh had yesterday night sacked the latter's close supporter Sandip Shukla and his wife Surubhi Shukla from important posts in the administration.
This despite the fact that Mulayam has finalised Sandip Shukla as party's candidate from Sulantapur Sadar seat.
Yestderay, Akhilesh had expressed his ire over the list released by his father and told the media in Bundelkhand that he would take it up with the party chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and should be given tickets.
What also appears to have offended the CM is that Mulayam clearly ignored his objection to certain names like Gayatri Prajapati, Rampal Yadav, Sigbatullah Ansari - the brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahmed, who faces over 40 criminal cases, including those dealing with murder and attempt to murder allegations.
Another name which had upset Akhilesh, Aman Mani Tripathi who is arrested by the CBI in a case related to the killing of his wife, however, did not figure in today's list.
At a hurriedly convened press conference, the SP patriarch had released the list of 325 candidates, giving poll tickets to 176 sitting MLAs.
Names of candidates for the rest of the 78 seats would be announced soon, he said, flanked by state party chief Shivpal Yadav, while Chief Minister Akhilesh was away on a tour.
The choice of candidates for 175 seats by his warring uncle Shivpal had apparently put off Akhilesh, who prepared his own list of preferred candidates for all the seats and sent it to Mulayam.
Akhilesh, who was not averse to an alliance with the Congress for the Assembly polls, has been saying that the SP alone would get an absolute majority and in case there is a tie-up with the Congress, the alliance would bag over 300 seats.
"Samajwadi Party is not forming an alliance with anyone," Mulayam said, ending the speculation of a tie-up between the SP and the Congress.
With agency inputs