Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday defended the party’s decision to give tickets to some candidates (File)Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday defended the party’s decision to give tickets to some candidates facing criminal cases and said most of these cases had been filed by the BJP government.”Gayatri Prajapati’s wife doesn’t have any case against her, cases are against the husband. Most cases against Azam Khan were lodged under BJP rule. As far as Nahid Hasan is concerned, BJP (government) lodged most cases against him,” Akhilesh Yadav said.Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Tuesday slammed Akhilesh Yadav saying that his party and his allies cannot stop BJP from returning to power in the upcoming assembly elections in the state and alleged that SP is giving tickets to criminals.”SP will not be able to stop the lotus of BJP from blooming in the state. The list of candidates that the SP has released for the upcoming elections shows that it is not a political party but the party of gangsters, criminals, mafias. They are not fighting polls in UP but threatening the people of the state. I wish to tell him that however many criminals you give tickets to, your cycle is punctured and will remain punctured,” he had said.Samajwadi Party has given ticket for upcoming UP polls to jailed former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati’s wife Maharaji Devi from Amethi.Lok Sabha MP Azam Khan, SP candidate from Rampur seat, is lodged in Sitapur jail since February 2020 last year as many cases are registered against him.SP’s candidate from Kairana Nashid Hasan was arrested by UP police earlier this month under the Gangsters Act and is currently under judicial custody.Elections for the 403 Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, and March 3 and 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.