With this, the SP has declared the names of 10 bypoll candidates, leaving the Iglas (SC) seat in Aligarh for its alliance partner, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
For Akhilesh Yadav the bye-polls to 12 assembly seats are going to be a bellweather for his new strategy that relies on smaller parties and his own appeal. The main battle, however, will be the 2022 assembly elections.
The surprise development is being seen as an effort by the SP to recover its electoral base after its poor performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls when it won just five seats -- the same as in 2014 -- despite stitching a pre-poll alliance with the BSP and the RLD.
The school will be named Rajju Bhaiya Sainik Vidya Mandir after the former chief of RSS, Rajendra Singh
Is India in danger of becoming a plutocracy? When increasingly a wealthy minority decide the policies that govern a poor majority, whose interests will it reflect?
The 2022 assembly elections are still far away but with each party claiming it will fight alone, the work is clearly cut out for the Akhilesh-led SP. They have to become the alternative to the ruling BJP in the state.
If the SP-BSP alliance breaks up, the BJP would have the last laugh as the assembly polls would become a triangular contest in which BJP with its combination of upper castes, non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits would remain a formidable force.
Prima facie, it appears to be a case of personal enmity and not any political rivalry, district Superintendent of Police Ashish Tiwari said.
'The appointment of all party panellists has been cancelled on the directives of national president Akhilesh Yadav,' SP's chief spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury said.
UP's Chief Electoral Officer Venkateshwarlu allayed fears of tampering of EVMs. "All apprehensions are unfounded," he said
Listing the 'good work' done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Adityanath said, 'Whatever welfare schemes we have implemented so far, we did not discriminate people in the name of caste and religion. These were implemented in the interest of the poor.'
Yadav claimed the opposition alliance will give the next prime minister who will fulfil the aspirations of the people of the country.
For the BJP, campaigning peaked on May 9 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed three back-to-back rallies in Azamgarh, Jaunpur and Allahabad.
'The BJP has nothing except hatred, and is spreading lies as it has realised that they are going to taste defeat.Their language has changed,' Yadav said at an election rally here.
"Our (electoral) prospects are improving...the prospects of the opposition alliance will further improve in the remaining two phases of Lok Sabha polls," BSP chief Mayawati said at joint rally with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav here.
When asked about his decision to contest on this seat, SP supremo Yadav told PTI, 'I have been getting requests from leaders to contest from here. As I had to contest from somewhere and the party decided to field me from this seat, I agreed.'
'The BJP and Congress are not good. If these parties are elected, they will construct their houses and toilets, while common people will be deprived of everything,' Yadav said.
The party itself is not contesting Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, which has seven seats.
Yadav, who was dismissed in 2017 after he posted a video online complaining about the food served to the troops, was fielded by the Samajwadi Party as its candidate from the Varanasi seat.
Gandhi's remarks echoed the views of his sister and party general secretary in-charge eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had said on May 1 that her party has fielded candidates either with prospects of victory or having potential to damage the BJP's chances.
Addressing an election meeting for SP-BSP alliance candidates from Kaushambi and Pratapgarh here, the SP chief said, 'The 'chaiwala' (tea seller) has gone back on the promises... they have been exposed... chaiwala has this time come as 'chowkidar' (watchman).'
This is the second time this month that the EC has imposed a ban on him. The fresh ban will come into force at 6.00 am May 1.
'The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are talking about terrorism during campaigning. By giving ticket to a 'fauji' in Varanasi, we have taken the wind out of the BJP's sails,' Akhilesh said, addressing an election meeting here.
The former BSF constable was dismissed in 2017 after he posted a video online complaining about the food served to the troops.
Yadav was dismissed in 2017 after he posted a video online complaining about the food served to the troops.