The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its first list of 107 candidates for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls on January 15.
The list comprises candidates for 57 of the 58 seats going to polls in first phase on February 10 and 48 of the 55 seats going to polls in the second phase of polls on February 14.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will contest from his home turf Gorakhpur (Urban) seat while deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya will contest from Sirathu seat in Prayagraj, the party said. The two high-profile seats will go to polls in later stages."We believe that UP will support us again in 2022 and we will win 300-plus seats this time," said Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister and Uttar Pradesh incharge of BJP said while announcing the list of the candidates.
भारतीय जनता पार्टी की केंद्रीय चुनाव समिति की बैठक में उत्तर प्रदेश विधानसभा चुनाव-2022 के लिए निम्नलिखित प्रत्याशियों के नामों पर अपनी स्वीकृति दी गई है। (1/2) pic.twitter.com/sFcQQZfiMp
— BJP (@BJP4India) January 15, 2022
Uttar Pradesh, where the ruling BJP is facing a challenge from Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP), will vote in seven phases to elect 403 MLAs. The seven phases will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, March 3 and March 7. The counting of votes will be held on March 10.
Polling for the Gorakhpur (Urban) seat will be in sixth phase on March 3. Adityanath has been Lok Sabha MP from for Goraphpur five straight terms till 2017 when he was appointed the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh after the saffron party's landslide victory in the assembly polls.
Adityanath will contest assembly polls for the first time since he has been a member of legislative council. There were speculation that the CM will contest from temple towns of Ayodhya or Mathura.
The BJP has been witnessing a string of defections over the last few days. The turmoil began with the resignation of cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya who was followed by two cabinet ministers Dara Singh Chauhan and Dharam Singh Saini and other MLAs.
Maurya, the deputy CM had contested assembly elections in 2017 and he s the member of UP legislative council. Sirathu in Prayagraj will go to polls in fifth phase on March 27.
As many as 63 out of 83 BJP MLAs have been repeated in first list of 107 candidates. Among the candidates, 44 are OBCs and 19 are SCs.The party stormed to power in UP in 2017 polls by winning 303 of the 403 seats. The Samajwadi Party (SP) could win 47 seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won 19 seats. The Congress could end up with only seven seats.