Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday announced 55 candidates for the next general elections due in 2014, the first off the block in the race to parliament, and said that candidates for 25 seats would be declared later.
Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav announced 55 candidates for the 80 Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh at the party headquarters in the state. While SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will again contest from Mainpuri, 16 other MPs have been repeated.
Ram Gopal Yadav, Mulayam Singh's cousin, said that 17 sitting MPs, including Mulayam Singh, have been repeated in the list.
The party has also fielded Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey from Dumariyaganj.
The list includes Dimple Yadav, wife of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. She would be contesting from Kannuaj, a seat thrice held by her husband. She had won from Kannauj in a recent by-poll after Akhilesh Yadav vacated the seat to move to the state legislature.
Akshay Yadav, Mulayam Singh's nephew, would contest from Firozabad. He is likely to fight a tough battle against sitting Congress MP and actor Raj Babbar, who was once with the SP.
Ashok Bajpai is the SP candidate from Lucknow, Surendra Singh Patel from Varanasi, Tilakram Verma from Faizabad and Maharaj Singh Dhangar from Agra.
Seventeen sitting MPs are contesting. They include Yashveer Singh (from Nageena), Dharmendra Yadav (Budayun), Mithlesh Kumar (Shahjahanpur), Usha Verma (Hardoi), Sushila Saroj (Mohanlalganj), Premdas Katheria (Etawah), Ghanshyam Anuragi (Jalaun), R.K. Patel (Banda), Rakesh Sachan (Fatehpur), Shailendra Kumar (Kaushambi), Kunwar Reoti Raman Singh (Allahabad), Brij Bhushan Saran Singh (Qaiserganj), late former prime minister Chandra Shekhar's son Neeraj Shekhar (Ballia), and Pakaudi Lal Kol (Robertsganj).
Ram Gopal Yadav said that the SP was ready for the polls. "This will give us time to prepare for the Lok Sabha polls whenever they are held," he added.