Ahead of crucial Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav plans to offer Gorakhpur’s sitting BJP MLA Radha Mohan Agarwal his own party’s ticket for the seat, as the BJP has announced that it would field CM Yogi Adityanath from the constituency.
“If you (reporters) can establish contact with him (Agarwal) and speak to him, the ticket will be announced and he will get the ticket,” Akhilesh was quoted as saying by PTI at his party headquarters in Lucknow on the occasion of ‘Ann Sankalp Divas’.
Agarwal has been the MLA from Gorakhpur Urban seat, Adityanath’s home turf, since 2002.
“I remember the oath-taking ceremony of the chief minister (Yogi Adityanath). I had seen Radha Mohan Agarwal on the occasion. He was not able to find a seat and had to keep standing. He has been insulted the most in the BJP government,” the SP chief said.
On a question about BJP’s disgruntled MLAs, he had earlier asserted, “We cannot give seats to everyone. The BJP can distribute its tickets. We cannot take anyone (into the SP) now.”
But, as soon as Agarwal’s name was mentioned, he said he would give him the ticket, PTI reported.
Dismissing speculation about his younger brother’s wife Aparna Yadav joining the BJP, Akhilesh said, “The BJP is more concerned about my family than me. Are you asking the question after being inspired by the BJP?”
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Aparna had contested the 2017 UP Assembly elections on an SP ticket from Lucknow Cantonment but lost to BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi.
When asked about Azad Samaj Party chief Chandrashekhar Ravan, the SP chief said: “I had said the SP had given respect to the people of the alliance and had also sacrificed to cement the alliance. At this point of time, whatever sacrifices have to be made should be made.”
“The SP is making sacrifices. As far as Chandrashekhar (Ravan) is concerned, I had given him seats. If he wants to help as a brother, he can do so,” Akhilesh added.
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“Chandrashekhar had initially accepted two seats, but he said later that his organisation could not agree on it. In this scenario why should the SP be blamed?” he asked.
“That is why I am saying people are hatching conspiracies. Do not level allegations if someone has said anything. Several conspiracies are being hatched for the UP elections and they will be hatched in future as well,” he added.
On January 15, the Azad Samaj Party had said, “We thought this is a new Samajwadi Party and there will be some change in it. We can speak about social justice. We wanted unity of the Bahujan and we were banking on him (Akhilesh Yadav) but yesterday we felt that our hopes have been shattered. I feel that Akhileshji does not need us. All the best to him. We will fight our own polls.”
Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls in seven phases between February 10 and March 7.
(With inputs from PTI)