"The party will declare candidates for these seats much in advance," senior party leader Shivpal Yadav said, explaining that the idea was to give sufficient time to the nominees to prepare for victory.

"The process of interviewing and shortlisting candidates has been finished and the list has been sent to the Central Parliamentary board with recommendations. The candidates for these seats will be declared at least a year before the polls so that they could have ample time to work at the ground level," he told reporters.

In 2012, SP had won 224 seats and the number rose to 231 after bye-elections, but the party has since seen its popularity wane as in last year's Lok Sabha polls, it won only five of the 80 seats in the state where BJP swept by winning 73 seats.

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