NEW DELHI: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav will contest Lok Sabha election from Azamgarh, currently represented by his father and SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party said.

On Sunday, the SP released its list of 40 star campaigners for Uttar Pradesh, but Mulayam Singh Yadav’s name was missing from the first list. After a controversy broke out over the alleged sidelining of the party patriarch, the SP released its list of campaigners for the second phase, wherein his father’s name was included.

While Akhilesh Yadav will contest from the SP strong base in Azamgarh, Mulayam Singh will contest from the Mainpuri constituency, from where he was elected thrice. There is less than three weeks to go for the first phase of polling for the 17th Lok Sabha elections.

SP is contesting elections in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Last month, while addressing party workers in Lucknow, Mulayam Singh had expressed concerns over the alliance and allocation of seats. Out of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, SP is contesting on 37, while BSP will fight in 38 seats. SP has announced the names of 19 candidates for UP.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Mulayam Singh had contested from both Azamgarh and Mainpuri, but later retained Azamgarh. Senior SP leader and former cabinet minister Azam Khan will contest from the Rampur constituency.

The list of star campaigners includes Kannauj member of Parliament (MP) and Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav, actor-politician Jaya Bachchan, and senior leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Azam Khan, besides SP leaders who are members of the Rajya Sabha.

Elections in the 80 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held across seven phases from 11 April to 19 May.

PTI contributed to this story.

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