<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>403 seats and though its candidate did not win any seat, the party received 5,000 to 15,000 votes in most of the constituencies. In UP, which is having a seven-phase polling beginning February 11, Lok Dal has decided to contest some 300 seats this time and 25-30 nominees are expected to be sitting MLAs of Samajwadi Party. “We have given tickets to a number of sitting SP MLAs who are close to Mulayam-Shivpal and have been denied tickets. We expect 25-30 SP MLAs to contest from our party,” Singh, who will be starting his party’s campaign from February 2, said. “I will be extensively campaigning for our candidates. And this time, people of the state will certainly select our party candidates,” Singh, who is busy finalising tickets, said. Taking full control of the ruling party after being crowned as its head at a national convention here on January 1 and after being alloted ‘bicycle’ symbol by the Election Commission on January 16, Akhilesh has been going whole hog consolidating his grip over the party. He has forged an alliance with Congress without taking party patron Mulayam and Shivpal into confidence after which Mulayam has asked his loyalists to “contest on 105 seats given to Congress”. After Mulayam’s directives, many SP leaders are coming to Lok Dal and preferring the party instead of contesting as Independents, Singh claimed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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In the 2012 elections, Lok Dal had contested 76 of the