Lucknow: Shivpal Yadav, the warring uncle of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, along with controversial UP minister Azam Khan has made it to the first list of 191 Samajwadi Party candidates released today for the Assembly elections.
The ruling party's first list of candidates covers the first three phases of the seven-phase polling beginning on February 11. Shivpal Yadav will contest the elections from Jaswantnagar, the constituency sought for him by SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Rakesh Verma, son of Rajya Sabha member Beni Prasad Verma, whose name had figured in Shivpal's list, however, has been replaced by Akhilesh loyalist Arvind Singh Gope, Minister and sitting MLA from Ramnagar seat (Barabanki). Azam Khan will contest from his traditional Rampur seat while his son Abdullah Azam has been given ticket from Swar seat (Rampur district).
The highlight of the list is inclusion of names of several Akhilesh loyalists who were left out in an earlier list of candidates that his father Mulayam Singh Yadav had released last month.
The inclusion of Shivpal in today's list of candidates indicates reconciliation between father and son.
A defiant Akhilesh had last month announced his own candidates after his father's list did not accommodate many of his key aides.