The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Saturday declared the son of a former UP minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Ambika Chaudhary as its candidate for the post of Ballia zila panchayat chairman, triggering a sharp reaction from the BSP.
The candidature of Anand Chaudhary, the son of Ambika Chaudhary, was declared by SP's Ballia district president Raj Mangal Yadav on Saturday.
Mr Pandey said Mr Chaudhary's candidature has been approved by both the SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav and the party's state unit chief Naresh Uttam.
Anand Chaudhary is a zila panchayat member from ward number 45 of Ballia and was elected with ostensible support of the BSP.
The Samajwadi Party move triggered a sharp reaction from the BSP legislative party's deputy leader Uma Shankar Singh who accused Ambika Chaudhary of betraying the party.
Ambika Chaudhary has been a Cabinet minister under Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav but had joined the BSP in 2016 amid the family feud within the SP.
Accusing Mr Chaudhary of "backstabbing" the BSP, Mr Singh said he has "indulged in deceit, showing his true nature".
"When the SP had expelled Ambika Chaudhary, the BSP had honoured him and given him a party ticket from the Phephana assembly constituency," he said.
Mr Singh claimed Anand Chaudhary had won the zila panchayat elections as a BSP candidate but the SP has declared him as its candidate for the post of zila panchayat chairman.
Ambika Chaudhary, however, refuted Singh's allegation saying that he was feeling ignored in the BSP.
In a statement, he said that he had joined the BSP before the 2017 UP assembly elections, and after this, he has been working as a dedicated party worker, discharging all the responsibilities given to him.
After the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he was not given responsibility, and that he was feeling ignored and of no use in the BSP, he said.
Polling for the election of zila panchayat chairpersons will be held on July 3. The counting of votes will be taken up on the same day, the Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission had said in its poll notification earlier.
Zila panchayat chairpersons are elected from among the elected members of zila panchayats of various districts.
Voting will be held from 11 am to 3 pm on July 3 and the counting of votes will be taken up the same day, the notification stated.
There are 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh. Four-phase panchayat polls were held in the state last month.