BJP announces first list of candidates for UP, Uttarakhand

New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced its first list of 149 candidates for Uttar Pradesh polls and 64 candidates in Uttarakhand.

The party also announced candidates for its remaining six seats in Punjab.

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Releasing the list, Union Minister J. P. Nadda said that all sitting MLAs have been retained in Uttarakhand which will go the polls on February 15. The party has also given tickets in the state to legislators from the Congress who had joined the BJP last year.

The party’s first list for Uttar Pradesh, mainly for the first and second phases, does not have any candidate from the Muslim community. The polling in the first two phases on February 11 and February 15, will cover areas with sizeable Muslim population.

The seven phased election for the sprawling state’s 403-member assembly will conclude on March 8 and counting will take place on March 11.

The party’s list for Uttar Pradesh has some young faces including its Secretary Srikant Sharma, who has been fielded from Mathura. Sharma is also in charge of the media department. The party has retained its sitting MLAs in the first two phases.

Controversial BJP legislator Sangeet Som has been retained from his traditional Sardhana seat.

However, names of candidates from Sahibabad and Noida assembly seats, which fall in the first phase, have not been announced. Sources said that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has sought Sahibabad seat for his son Pankaj Singh and the party poll panel is expected to take a call on the issue on Tuesday.

The candidates were finalised by the Central Election Committee of the BJP during its meeting on Sunday, which was presided over by party president Amit Shah and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior cabinet ministers including Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley.