New Delhi [India]: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to announce the candidates for the remaining seats in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting scheduled to take place this evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley besides other senior party leaders would be present in the meeting.
Earlier on Monday, the BJP released the first list of candidates for next month’s polls in the two states.
The saffron party has so far declared 149 candidates in Uttar Pradesh, which has a 403-member House and goes to polls in seven phases starting February 11.
The list was a mix of sitting legislators and fresh faces including former Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Laxmikant Vajpayee, the grandson of former chief minister Kalyan Singh, Sandeep Singh, and party’s national secretary Shrikant Sharma.
The party has also retained incumbent legislators Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, both accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots.
The list, however, did not feature the name of Pankaj Singh – the son of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh – who is widely speculated to contest the Uttar Pradesh polls.
In Uttarakhand, which goes to polls on February 15, the party has named 64 candidates, including 30 sitting MLAs, for the 70-seat assembly. The list also includes the Congress rebel leaders, who have joined the BJP.
The BJP has not given tickets to four of its present MLAs, but at the same time 12 former Congress leaders have been allotted tickets. They include seven of the nine rebels, who tried to topple the Harish Rawat government last March.
Two Congress rebels – Vijay Bahuguna and Amrita Rawat – did not feature in the list announced by the saffron party. However, Bahuguna’s son has been fielded from Sitarganj.
The BJP MLAs, who could not get tickets this time are Chandrashekhar Bhattewale from Jwalapur, Vijaya Barthwal from Yamkeshwar, Tirath Singh Rawat from Chaubattakhal and Mahavir Ranghar from Dhanolti.
Former Congress heavyweight Satpal Maharaj too has been allotted ticket while his wife, Amrita Rawat, did not make it in the first list. Her name is likely to be announced in the second list.
The BJP has fielded former chief minister BC Khanduri’s daughter Ritu Khanduri Bhushan from Yamkeshwar. (ANI)