The BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting to finalise candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls began on Thursday in a hybrid mode.
The meeting is being held in the hybrid form as a few of the CEC members, including party chief J.P. Nadda, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari have tested positive.
According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari are virtually joining the CEC meeting. CEC member and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also attending the meet at party headquarters.
Union Ministers Amit Shah, Dharmendra Pradhan and Anurag Thakur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are among the leaders who are physically attending the meeting. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Uttar Pradesh BJP general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal are also present in the meeting.
According to sources, the CEC is likely to finalise names of candidates for the first two or three phases of polls. “After finalisation of candidates, names will be announced accordingly,” they said.
In the last two days, a lot of discussion and deliberation has taken place in meetings chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. “In the last two days in the marathon meetings lasting over 10 hours, names have been shortlisted for most of the seats. Once the CEC finalises the names, the BJP will announce the candidates,” a senior party functionary said.
The Assembly polls will be held in seven phases in February-March starting from February 10. Counting of votes will be held on March 10. Last day of nomination for the 58 Assembly seats, where polling will be held in the first phase, is January 21, while that for 55 seats in the second phase is January 28. Voting will be held on February 10 and February 14 in the first and second phase respectively.