BJP’s listing of 10 for UP legislative council elections has 40% turncoats

LUCKNOW: Just a day before the last date of filing nominations, the BJP on Sunday announced names of 10 candidates, including two ministers and four turncoats, for the council elections scheduled on April

26. The saffron party has left one seat for its ally (Sonelal), which announced the candidature of its president .

Given their strength in UP assembly, BJP and its allies can easily win 11of the 13 council seats falling vacant. With just five spare votes, however, BJP is unlikely to field an extra candidate as it did in Rajya Sabha elections.

Apart from two ministers Mahendra Singh and , whose tenure in the parishad is ending next month, the party has also fielded four turncoats — Yashwant Singh, Sarojini Agarwal and Bukkal Nawab, who had defected from SP, and Jaiveer Singh who had switched from BSP.

Yashwant Singh had vacated the seat in August last year to make way for CM , while Jaiveer Singh had given up his seat for minority affairs minister Mohsin Raza, who has again been nominated.

While BJP has fielded two Muslims, Mohsin Raza and Bukkal Nawab, the list once again proves domination of Thakurs, the community which CM Yogi belongs to, over Brahmins.

Despite unrest, BJP picks just one Dalit

As against three Thakurs — Yashwant Singh, Mahendra Singh and Jaiveer Singh — BJP has fielded just one Brahmin in the form of state general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak. A former BJP spokesperson, Pathak is known to be close to senior BJP leader and MP Kalraj Mishra.

There are also two candidates from ‘Vaishya’ (trader) community — Sarojini Agarwal, a Meerut-based gynaecologist, and Ashok Dhawan, former treasurer of the state unit. A former MLC, Dhawan happens to be a resident of Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of PM .

The ruling party opted to choose just one Dalit, its state general secretary Vidyasagar Sonkar, even though it had been targeted as anti-Dalit amid recent unrest. A former Lok Sabha MP from Ghazipur, Sonkar, had filed his nomination during RS elections also as an extra candidate, and withdrew on the last day. The BJP has been witnessing the resentment of Dalit MPs and four of them spoke against the party on the issues related to the community.

Among the OBC candidates, BJP has included its state general secretary besides leaving a seat for Apna Dal’s Ashish Singh, a Kurmi.

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