In an open rebellion that could split the ruling SP, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday night declared his own candidates for 235 seats against the official list announced by his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for the upcoming Assembly polls.
The list of names was made available on social media by party MLAs who failed to get a ticket in the official list yesterday.
Prominent among those figuring in the list are ministers Arvind Singh Gope, Pawan Pandey and Ram Govind Chaudhary, who are the hardcore Akhilesh loyalists denied ticket by Mulayam.
The candidates were declared by Akhilesh hours after he held a meeting with his loyalists, including MLAs, who were left out of the list of 325 announced by Mulayam yesterday. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 seats.
Akhilesh has been unhappy over the declaration of candidates by Mulayam which included certain names to whose nomination the Chief Minister had strong reservation.
Mulayam, along with his brother and state party unit chief Shivpal, had announced the names at a hurriedly-convened press conference here yesterday when Akhilesh was away on a tour of Bundelkhand.