As 27 of the 36 candidates, who featured in the first two lists declared by the Samajwadi Party-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh face criminal cases, the allies justified giving tickets to them on various grounds, including “doing social work under Covid” and working for the “backward people”.
For candidate Yogesh Verma from Hastinapur, who faces over 30 criminal cases, the Samajwadi Party said “he has been appraised by the people of Hastinapur and all cases against him are in public interest and political laws”. Verma was an MLA from this seat in 2007 and lost the election in 2017 as well as Bulandhshaher Lok Sabha seat in 2019.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has mandated parties to publish justifications why they have given tickets to candidates with criminal cases.
The BJP earlier on Tuesday published a list of 25 such candidates out of its first list of 107 candidates, including Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, and said such candidates had faced cases “due to political rivalry”.
The BJP has also attacked the SP-RLD alliance for giving tickets to many tainted names, including Nahid Hussain from Kairana who was arrested and sent to jail.
In the declarations published by Samajwadi Party regarding 20 of its other candidates with criminal cases, similar justifications have been cited on the lines of the candidate having “done social service during the Covid period, providing for the poor and backward people.”
For one candidate from Koil seat, Shah Ishaq, the SP has said he helped people during the lockdown and pandemic by providing them transportation to reach home and Covid patients with essential commodities.
For another candidate from Meerut South, Mohd Adil, the SP said he works for upliftment of deprived class “like blanket distribution in winter” and had helped poor people during Covid by supplying oxygen and arranging hospital beds and medicines.
Regarding its candidate from Atrauli, Viresh Yadav, SP, has cited how his father had defeated former CM Kalyan Singh and he is a former three-time MLA of the party. “He belongs from a very old political family and his father was a six-time MLA from 1962,” the SP said.
The RLD too justified giving tickets to six candidates with criminal cases out of the seven names declared by the party in the first two lists. RLD’s Jewar candidate Avtar Singh Badhana faces a case in which he says an application for quashing the case is pending before the Allahabad High Court. “He is a mass leader who has taken up issues of farmers, Dalits and OBCs. He is the best person to represent farmers and the poor,” the SP said.
With inputs from News18