Uttarakhand Mahila Congress president joins BJP 

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday released its second list of 85 candidates for phase 3 and phase 4 for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections giving tickets to 30 OBCs, 19 SC and 15 women.

In the second list, while the party has reposed faith in the turncoats, it has cut tickets of fewer sitting MLAs as compared to the first list.

Former Kanpur Police Commissioner Aseem Arun has been fielded from his Kannauj, which is a reserved seat. Aseem Arun had joined the BJP recently taking VRS from police services.

Prominent among the turncoats are Aditi Singh, the sitting MLA from Rae Bareli Sadar. She has been repeated from the same seat. Similarly, sitting Congress MLA Rakesh Singh, who had switched sides to the BJP, has been fielded from his own Harchandpur seat also in Rae Bareli, the parliamentary constituency of AICC president Sonia Gandhi.

The list also includes the close relative of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and sitting MLA Hariom Yadav who has been fielded by the saffron party from his current seat of Sirsaganj. Hariom Yadav had also quit the opposition party recently.

Similarly, Uttar Pradesh Assembly Deputy Speaker Nitin Agarwal, who had left the SP along with his father Naresh Agarwal to join the BJP, will fight from his current seat Hardoi. A prominent BSP leader and former minister in the Mayawati government, Ram Veer Upadhyaya has been fielded from Sadabad in Hathras district.

In the second list of candidates, the BJP has repeated the ministers including Satish Mahana, the UP industrial development minister, Ranvendra Pratap Singh alias Dhunni Singh,  Nilima Katiyar from their respective constituencies.

Moreover, the party has given the ticket to Shrikant Katiyar from Bangarmau in Unnao. Bangarmau had been represented in the assembly by rape convicted BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar for four consecutive terms from different parties.

In 2017, he had won election from the seat on a BJP ticket. However, after his conviction in a rape case, he was disqualified from the house.

Similarly, the party, which had swept all eight seats of Lakhimpur Kheri in previous 2017 elections, has repeated the six of its 8 sitting MLAs in the district. One of the two who have been denied tickets includes Bala Prasad Awasthi from Dhaurahra. He had recently switched sides to SP.

Lakhimpur Kheri had been in news for the violent incident which had drawn nationwide outrage as four protesting farmers were mowed down allegedly by the son of Union MoS Ajay Mishra Teni, the BJP MP from the Lakhimpur parliamentary segment. In the incident total of eight lives were lost.

While the party has declared the candidates for seats across central UP including Etawah, Mainpuri and Kannauj, it has left Karhal to be announced later. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is tipped to be contesting from Karhal assembly constituency.

The party has declared names of more women candidates—15– in the second list as compared to the first one. The total number of names announced by the party for the seven-phase election to the 403-member assembly has reached 195.