BJP announces list of 13 candidates for Legislative Council polls in UP, Bihar

BJP announces list of 13 candidates for Legislative Council polls in UP, Bihar

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday released a list of 13 candidates for Legislative Council polls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, nominations for which will close on Monday.
Mohsin Raza, the only Muslim minister in Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet, finds his name on the list. Former Samajwadi Party leader Bukkal Nawab, who switched to the BJP last year, is also among the 10 nominees.
Yashwant Singh and Jaiveer Singh, who had left rival parties to join the BJP, have also been named by the party.
Other candidates for the UP polls are Mahendra Singh, Sarojini Agarwal, Vidya Sagar Sonkar, Vijay Bahadur Pathak, Ashok Kataria and Ashok Dhawan.
The BJP also released the list of three candidates for Bihar Legislative Council polls. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi is among the three nominees.
Two other candidates are Mangal Pandey, a minister in the Nitish Kumar government, and Sanjay Paswan, a former Union minister who hails from an influential Dalit community.
The candidature of Paswan, who was kept out of any important responsibility within the organisation for several years, underlines the saffron party’s renewed vigour to win over Dalits in a state where they will be key in the direct fight between the BJP-JD(U) combine and the RJD-Congress alliance.
Earlier, the BJP had claimed that it would win 11 out of 13 UP seats going to polls on April 26.
The BJP and its allies enjoy a brute strength of 324 in the 403 UP Legislative Assembly. Arithmetically, they are likely to win 11 out of 13 seats comfortably and still be left with some additional votes.
The Samajwadi Party has given up one seat to the BSP taking the new found friendship a step further.
The SP headed by Akhilesh Yadav had fielded two candidates, but withdrew one of them, paving the way for Mayawati’s party to contest one seat as a quid pro quo for her support to the SP in the Lok Sabha bye-elections to Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, which halted the saffron party’s victory march in the bastion of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (in Gorakhpur).
The notification for the legislative council polls was issued on April 9. The last date for filing nominations is April 16. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on April 17, while the last date for withdrawal of the candidature is April 19.
According to the Election Commission, tenures of 13 UP MLCs, including SP national president Akhilesh Yadav and two ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government — Mahendra Kumar Singh and Mohsin Raza — will end on May 5.
Of the 13 seats falling vacant, seven were held by the SP, two each by the BJP and the BSP, and one RLD. The thirteenth seat was held by former SP minister Ambika Chaudhary. His seat fell vacant when he switched over from the SP to the BSP.