UTTAR PRADESH: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to come out with a list of 150-odd names for the third, fourth and partly the fifth phases of the UP assembly polls in a short time.
These names would be contesting from central UP like the state capital Lucknow, Farookabad, Hardoi, Kannauj (where Dimple Yadav is the sitting MP), Nainpuri (seat won by Mulayam in 2014 elections), and Etawah-- the stronghold of SP.
“The second list of the candidates will be announced on Saturday. It will cover the constituencies going to the polls in the third and fourth phase of polling in UP. The names of candidates for six remaining seats in Uttarakhand will also be announced on Saturday,” said a senior BJP functionary.
The grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri – Siddharth Nath Singh – is believed to be among the prominent names cleared by the central election committee of the BJP.
Singh is likely to be fielded from the Allahabad (urban) seat. He is known for his clean image within the party and for being a combative spokesperson.
According to sources, BJP chief Amit Shah held marathon meeting with the UP incharge of the party Om Mathur and other leaders at his residence to discuss the names of candidates.
Apna Dal MP Anupriya Patel also met the BJP chief in a bid to negotiate seats. Sources indicated Patel is seeking about 15 seats for her faction.
The second list is likely to be a family-heavy one with insiders forming the majority. The party is expected to keep the number of turncoats under check in this list following the fury of its party members after the release of the first list that saw considerable turncoats both from the Congress and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party.
BJP has faced flak from its workers for the same reason in Uttarakhand where it gave tickets to Congress deserters. The first list was release on Monday and it included controversial names like the Muzaffarnagar riot accused Suresh Singh Rana and Sangeet Singh Som.
Uttar Pradesh (UP) is going to elections on February 11 in seven phases. The third phase would see candidates contesting for 69 seats across 12 districts. The fourth phase would see candidates from 53 seats from 12 districts.