BJP’s list for UP Council polls includes turncoats

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The BJP in Uttar Pradesh has released a list of 30 candidates for the upcoming polls to the state Legislative Council.

Names that figure in the list include those who had joined the party before the assembly elections. The party has also fielded party workers on a number of seats.

The party is expected to announce the names of remaining six candidates soon.

The four former SP leaders who figured in the BJP’s list of candidates for the upper house are C.P. Chand from the Gorakhpur-Maharajganj local authorities, Ravi Shankar Singh ‘Pappu’ from Ballia local authorities, Rama Niranjan from Jhansi-Jalaun-Lalitpur local authorities and Narendra Bhati from Bulandshahr local authorities.

Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, several SP MLCs, including Narendra Singh Bhati, Shatrudra Prakash, Rama Niranjan, Ravi Shankar Singh Pappu, CP Chand, Ghanshyam Lodhi, Shailendra Pratap Singh and Ramesh Mishra, had joined the BJP.

The party has fielded Ram Chandra Pradhan, who switched over to the BJP from the BSP in 2013, from the Lucknow-Unnao seat. Pradhan’s name had been doing the rounds for the last several elections, both for the Council and the Legislative Assembly.

Pradhan was also among the probables from Bakshi Ka Talab seat in the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, but Yogesh Shukla was fielded from the seat.

Similarly, the party has named Dinesh Pratap Singh, who had also switched loyalty from the Congress to the BJP a few years ago. He has been fielded from Rae Bareli.

Another prominent candidate is BJP’s youth wing president, Pranshu Dutt Dwivedi, who is believed to be close to state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh. He has been fielded from Etawah-Farrukhabad constituency.

From Rampur-Bareilly, the BJP has named former district party president Kunwar Maharaj Singh, putting an end to speculations that Ghanshyam Lodhi could be the candidate as he had quit the SP recently to join the saffron fold.

The party has fielded industrialist and RSS man Vagish Pathak from Badaun and Sudhir Gupta from Shahjahanpur-Pilibhit.

BJP has also given ticket to its general secretary Anoop Gupta from Kheri.

SR Group chairman, Pawan Singh Chauhan, who runs an engineering and management college in Bakshi Ka Talab (Lucknow), will contest from Sitapur while Ashok Agrawal has been fielded from Hardoi.

The BJP has fielded Vandana Mudit Verma (Muzaffarnagar-Saharanpur). Vandana is the wife of Mudit Verma, the brother of former UP cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh.

K.P. Srivastava has also been made the BJP candidate from Allahabad local body constituency.

Out of 30 candidates on the BJP list, there are 11 Thakurs and five Brahmins, four Vaishyas, nine OBCs and one Kayastha. In the Samajwadi Party’s list announced so far, there are 16 Yadavs out of 22 candidates.

The last date for filing of nominations is March 21 and elections will be held on April 9. Elections for six other constituencies will be held on April 12 for which the last date of nomination is March 23.

The 100-member Legislative Council of Uttar Pradesh at present has 35 members from the BJP, 17 from the SP and four from the Bahujan Samaj Party. Congress, Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Nishad Party have one member each in the state Legislative Council.

At present, 37 seats are vacant. Leader of the Opposition in the Council, Ahmed Hassan, passed away recently after prolonged illness.

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