IN A fresh confrontation with the state government, Governor Ram Naik on Monday rejected the five names recommended by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for nomination as MLCs.
In May last year, the government had recommended for nomination nine names as MLCs under various categories. The Raj Bhavan had cleared four of them in July last year and withheld decision on five. Despite several queries, these names were not cleared and have now been returned to the government with the remark that criminal cases were pending against several of them and according to Section 171 (5) of the Constitution, only people from five fields — literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social work — could be nominated as MLC.
The Indian Express takes a look at the five names recommended by the SP regime.
Sanjay Seth (48)
A non-political face in the list, Sanjay Seth, who hails from Unnao district, is a leading builder in Lucknow. He is the managing director of Shalimar Corp Limited, which includes companies like SAS Constructions (P) Ltd, Legacy Investments and Trading Co (P) Limited. He is known to be very close to SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav. At present, his company has been awarded several government projects, including the prime JP International Centre that is coming up in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar area. During the BSP regime as well, he shared good relations with the political establishment and had bagged government contracts, including the multi-storeyed parking lot in Hazratganj. He was in news recently after an income tax raid at his establishment last year.
Kamlesh Kumar Pathak (62)
Belonging to Auraiya district, Kamlesh Kumar Pathak had contested the 2012 Assembly polls from Sikandra seat in Kanpur Dehat as the SP candidate. He came third. In his affidavit to the Election Commission, he had disclosed six pending cases against him, including attempt to murder and Gangster Act. Pathak denies reports that 19 criminal cases are pending against him. He claims he had met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for the first time in 1976 in Auraiya jail, where he was lodged for the murder of a local degree college student. Mulayam had come to the jail to visit political prisoners. Since then, he had stayed in touch with Mulayam and became one of the youngest MLAs in 1985 as a Lok Dal candidate from Auraiya. Pathak claims he was the lone Brahmin MLA of Lok Dal. Thereafter, in 1990, he became an MLC and in 2002, won from Derapur seat as the SP candidate. He lost the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Kanpur Dehat, when he was in jail in a case of agitation. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had appointed him as the chairman of Sericulture Development Board with a MoS rank. But he was removed in 2014. He has a PhD in political science from Agra University.
Ranvijay Singh (48)
Ranvijay Singh is the most surprising name in the list, as he never held any senior post in SP. He joined the party in 2003 through Shivpal Yadav, who was then the SP state president. Immediately, he staked claim for a MLC ticket from local authorities constituency in his native district Gonda. He was denied ticket but he stayed with the party. At present, he holds the post of the Gonda district SP secretary. Based in Lucknow, he shares good relations with Shivpal and other senior SP leaders. His wife Sangeeta is the chairperson of the District Cooperative Development Federation and brother Ranjeet is a district panchayat member in Gonda. Not many SP leaders know him and were surprised when his name figured in the MLC nomination list. He claims he has no criminal case registered against him.
Rajpal Kashyap (38)
Loyal to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, he belongs to Most Backward Class and was a student leader in Lucknow University (LU). He became LU students’ union vice-president in 2003 and later its president in 2004. He, however, claims to be a SP worker since 1993 — a year after the party was formed. He says he holds several degrees, including MPhil and PhD, and also has a gold medal in social work from LU. He also claims that he had bagged the first prize in the Youth Parliament held in New Delhi. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has appointed him chairman of the UP Fisheries Development Corporation. Hailing from Hardoi district, he was also the state president of Mulayam Singh Youth Brigade. He claims two criminal cases — for holding dharna against the BSP government — were lodged against him, but withdrawn later.
Abdul Sarfaraz Khan (62)
Hailing from Saharanpur district, Abdul Sarfaraz Khan has been the president of the local city SP unit for 10 years. An old loyalist of minister Azam Khan, he had joined Janata Dal in 1986 and stayed on with SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. He had contested the 2012 Assembly polls from Saharanpur Dehat as a SP candidate but came third. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had made him a MoS in the labour department. But he was removed after nearly eight months following SP’s loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He denies there are criminal cases against him — he was caught with firearms in the Delhi airport and for travelling on Rajya Sabha MP Munawwar Saleem’s reserved train ticket. According to him, there is no official record for these two incidents. Claiming
to be a social worker, he says he runs an old age home in Meerut. He also claims to earn his
livelihood from the orchards and agricultural land that he owns.