Battle for UP: Top opposition leaders to campaign

Lucknow, Jan 20 (IANS) Several top opposition leaders will be campaigning in Uttar Pradesh against the ruling BJP in the upcoming seven-phase Assembly elections.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Shiv Sena minister Aditya Thackeray along with Sanjay Raut and will be seen in action in Uttar Pradesh, leading the opposition attack against the BJP.
According to Samajwadi Party national vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda, Mamata Banerjee will campaign virtually for the SP in Lucknow on February 8 and she may also campaign digitally in Varanasi.
NCP state unit spokesperson Vishal Nath Tiwari said Sharad Pawar will campaign for the Samajwadi Party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has already announced that NCP leader K. K. Sharma will contest as the joint candidate of the SP-NCP alliance from the Anupshahr Assembly seat in Bulandshahr district.
Sharad Pawar may be present with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee during the virtual campaign in Lucknow on February 8, Tiwari said.
RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav will campaign in support of the SP in the east UP Assembly constituencies bordering Bihar, as well as in other segments.
RJD state president Ashok Singh will be the SP-RJD joint candidate from Sareni in Rae Bareli district.
Rahul Yadav, son-in-law of RJD leader Lalu Yadav, is in the fray as the SP-RLD joint candidate from Sikandrabad Assembly seat in Bulandshahr district.
Ashok Singh said: “Tejashwi Yadav will campaign in support of the Samajwadi Party across Uttar Pradesh.”
Shiv Sena state secretary Vishwajeet Singh said the party central leadership is in talks with the Congress, which is part of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), for pre-poll alliance in UP. If the alliance talks fail, the Shiv Sena will field candidates for 80 Assembly seats in UP.
“Shiv Sena leaders Aditya Thackeray and Sanjay Raut will campaign for the party candidates (in UP),” he said.
Sources said that Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren may also campaign in support of the SP to help the Opposition give a united fight to the BJP.
Hemant Soren had campaigned in support of the TMC in the West Bengal Assembly election.

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