UP elections: OBC’s big push in the first list of 107 candidates of BJP, 60 percent names of backward castes

The BJP on Saturday released its first list of 107 candidates for the first two phases of Uttar Pradesh elections 2022, with the largest share of tickets allotted to OBC leaders, followed by women and youth.

In its list of candidates, the party has refused tickets to nearly 20% of the sitting MLAs to give them the tag of being a party for the upper castes.

Around 60% of the candidates declared on Saturday are from OBC category. The party believes it will counter the resignation of some big-ticket OBC legislators, including two ministers, from the BJP in recent days. More than 10 MLAs followed minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who eventually joined the Samajwadi Party outside the BJP.

Of the 107 candidates announced, 44 names were from OBC category, while 19 were from SC and 10 were women.

The party has fielded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu in Prayagraj.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters that there are 63 sitting MLAs in the list, including ministers Suresh Khanna, Suresh Rana and Shrikant Sharma, while 20 have made way for others. Former Uttarakhand governor and now BJP vice-president Baby Rani Maurya, a Dalit, has been fielded from Agra (Rural). Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh will again contest from Noida seat.

Highlighting BJP’s reach to marginalized communities, Pradhan said the party has fielded a Dalit candidate from a general category seat and the list coming up for the Uttar Pradesh elections will have more of them named from the unreserved seats. .

Pradhan said that the BJP fought the 2017 assembly elections to fight corruption and restore law and order in the state and the Yogi Adityanath government has done so, Pradhan, who was associated with BJP general secretary Arun Singh, said.

“The state is now riot free,” he claimed, adding that under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several development works including setting up of colleges and highways have taken place. Uttar Pradesh is now the Modi government’s housing scheme, free LPG cylinder program and Ayushman is ranked high in the list of Bharat beneficiaries.

BJP President JP Nadda said that every BJP worker has worked round the clock for the people and the party is committed for the progress of every section of the society in the state. “I am sure that every BJP candidate will win with an overwhelming majority with the blessings and support of the people,” he said.

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