NEW DELHI: Ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on Saturday brought end to all speculations in high-stake Uttar Pradesh poll battle with a heavy duty announcement, declaring seats for two of state’s most popular faces — CM and five time former MP Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur Urban and deputy CM Keshav Maurya from Sirathu, a town in his home district in Kaushambi as it also released the list of candidates for Phase 1 and Phase 2 polls.
BJP Uttar Pradesh poll-in charge Dharmendra Pradhan and national general secretary Arun SIngh made these announcements, citing the decision of party’s central election committee.
BJP has repeated 62 out of 82 elected MLAs in this list of 107 candidates. On other 25 seats, it has brought a mix of fresh faces as well as old timers. Overall 44 OBC faces make the cut in the list of two phases that dominates the western Uttar Pradesh.
Among the surprise is one of the rare comebacks by a former governor to active politics.
Baby Rani Maurya, who was former Uttarakhand governor, will fight from Agra Rural, a reserved seat for SC. Overall, 10 women have been included in its first list for two phases.
In Kairana — the hotbed of communal flare-up that led to exodus by Hindus following 2014 killings and extortions in a town in UP’s Shamli, BJP has decided to go with Mriganka Singh, the daughter of former MP Hukum Singh.
In Mathura, power minister Shrikant Sharma, who continues to remain the cynosure of state’s ambitious electricity projects and power forms, will be fielded again. Singh made a special mention of Sharma and Rana for their overwhelming contributions to success of BJP government in UP.
UP sugar minister Suresh Rana will retain his seat at Thana Bhawan.
BJP made a special mention for Sharma and Rana at the PC, heaping praises on their contributions during last five years of governance reforms and project launches.
“There was a time when UP saw electricity for barely 9-10 hours in a day and rest were power cuts. To change that image, lies the hard work of Shrikant Sharma who will again contest from Mathura. Similarly, the payments to sugarcane farmers were made due to dilligence and commitment of Suresh Rana ji who will contest from Thana Bhawan in Shamli district,” said Singh.