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  India   Politics  17 Jan 2017  BJP releases UP, Uttarakhand candidates list for Assembly elections

BJP releases UP, Uttarakhand candidates list for Assembly elections

Published : Jan 17, 2017, 1:48 am IST
Updated : Jan 17, 2017, 5:44 am IST

Congress turncoats picked in hill state, two ministers dropped in Punjab.

BJP president Amit Shah welcomes former Congress leader (second from left)  Yashpal Arya to the party in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 BJP president Amit Shah welcomes former Congress leader (second from left) Yashpal Arya to the party in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday announced its first list of candidates for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly elections.

While the UP list, with 149 names was mostly dominated by Thakurs, Gujjars and Jats, the Uttarakhand list with 64 names saw most of the Congress turncoats being fielded.

Yashpal Arya, who joined BJP from Congress on Monday itself, with his son Sanjiv, were given tickets from Bajpur and Nainital, respectively.

Among the prominent names who appeared in the UP list included former state BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai from Meerut, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma from Mathura, and former chief minister and Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh’s grandson Sandeep Singh from Atrauli.

The party also announced the remaining six names for the Punjab elections. BJP has dropped two ministers in the Punjab government from the list.

In Uttarakhand, most of the nine Congress rebels who voted against chief minister Harish Rawat’s government, leading to a “Constitutioal crisis” last year, have been fielded.

Of the nine, former CM Vijay Bahuguna’s son Saurabh has been fielded from his current Assembly constituency, Sitarganj. Satpal Maharaj, who joined BJP ahead of the last Lok Sabha elections, has been fielded from Chaubatakhal.

His wife Amrita Rawat, one of the nine Congress rebels, is unlikely to get a ticket.

Shooter and former BJP leader Jaspal Rana’s father, Narayan Singh Rana, has been fielded from Dhanaulti. Another Congress leader, who joined BJP Monday, Kedar Singh Rawat, has been given a ticket from Yumonotri.

In the hill state, where polling for the 70-member Assembly will be held on February 15, the BJP has renominated its state president Ajay Bhat from Ranikhet and given ticket to former chief minister and MP B.C. Khanduri’s daughter Ritu from Yamkeshwar.

Releasing the list, BJP’s central election committee (CEC) secretary J.P. Nadda said it has accommodated various sections of society. The CEC met Sunday night to finalise the candidates.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the CEC’s Sunday meeting. Another meeting will be held on Tuesday to announce the names of more candidates.

The names in the UP list are from those constituency which will go to the polls in the first and second phases. The seven-phase polls for the 403 seats will take place on February 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, March 4 and 8.

BJP has retained sitting MLAs, including Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, both accused in the Muzaffarnagar riot cases. The party withheld announcement of its candidates for some seats, including Sahibabad and Noida — two seats from where Union home minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh’s name has been doing the rounds.

Former Congress leader Avtar Singh Badhana has been fielded from Meerapur. Of the six remaining names from Punjab, which were announced Monday, two ministers — Madan Mohan Mittal and Chuni Lal Bhagat, who is also the party’s state legislative leader, have been dropped. Both are ministers in the SAD-BJP government in Punjab. The BJP will be contesting on 23 out of the total 117 Assembly seats.

The BJP nominated Parmindra Sharma from Anandpur Sahib, currently held by Mr Mittal.

Mohindra Bhagat, son of MLA Chuni Lal Bhagat, will be party’s candidate from Jalandhar West. However, two other ministers — Anil Joshi and Manoranjan Kalia — have been renominated from Amritsar North and Jalandhar Central, respectively.

Tags: assembly elections, kalyan singh