Fate of several BJP heavyweights, including ministers, will be decided in the first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls on Thursday. Polling will be held on 58 seats spread in 11 districts of Western Uttar Pradesh.
Electoral fate of nine ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government will be decided by voters. The ministers are Srikant Sharma from Mathura, Atul Garg from Ghaziabad, Suresh Rana from Thana Bhawan, Kapildev Agarwal from Muzaffar Nagar and Sandeep Singh from Atrauli.
Other ministers whose fate will be decided are Laxminarayan Chaudhary from Chhata, Anil Sharma from Shikarpur, G.S. Dharmesh from Agra Cantt. and Dinesh Khatik from Hastinapur.
Other prominent names are former Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya from Agra Rural, Uttar Pradesh BJP vice president Pankaj Singh from Noida and Mriganka Singh from Kairana.
In the last Assembly polls, the BJP had swept seats in the first phase by winning almost all Assembly constituencies. Five years ago, the BJP won 53 of the 58, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) had two seats each and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) won one seat.
The ruling BJP is in direct contest with the SP and RLD alliance, while the BSP has its influence in some constituencies.
The high pitch campaign of Western Uttar Pradesh witnessed political parties discussing ‘Ganna’ (sugarcane), Jinnah, 2013 riots, law and order situation in the state along with other issues. The BJP leadership repeatedly raised the issue of mass exodus from Kairana and the region.
These 58 seats are spread in 11 districts of Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Mathura, Aligarh, Meerut, Shamli, Baghpat, Hapur, Bulandshahr and Agra.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls will be held in seven phases in February-March starting from February 10. Counting of votes will be held on March 10. In the first phase, polling is scheduled in 58 of the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly.