In search of “winnable candidates” for the elections to the Legislative Council from local authorities constituencies, BJP has relied upon turn-coats with four such leaders being nominated in the list of 10 declared Wednesday.
Raj Kumar Agrawal, who joined BJP earlier in the day, has been declared party candidate from Hardoi local authority constituency. Agrawal is known to be close to Samajwadi Party (SP) national general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal and was associated with him in Loktrantrik Congress and BSP too. He turned to BJP when SP denied him ticket in MLC polls, sources informed.
Incidentally, Raj Kumar had started his political innings with the BJP and had been lodged in jail in 1990 during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
BJP has declared Rajesh Singh as candidate for Azamgarh-Mau seat. Rajesh Singh was earlier in SP and joined BJP at party’s Azamgarh district office on Tuesday.
Anand Tripathi is BJP supported candidate for Banda-Hamirpur seat. He belongs to Banda district and had contested election from the same local authority constituency in 2010 as SP nominee and was defeated by BSP’s Husna Siddiqui, wife of senior BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui. “Anand has not joined BJP formally yet. But he has been active in the party for almost one month,” said a senior BJP leader in Banda.
Ramji Tripathi, candidate for Bahraich, is grandson of former BJP MP Laxmi Narain Mani Tripathi but had been associated with BSP so far. He joined BJP three days ago.
Former SP MLC from Bahraich, Arun Veer Singh joined BJP earlier in the day and was appointed election in-charge for same seat. Singh’s term as MLC expired on January 15 this year.
Other candidates declared by the BJP include Sanjay Sharma for Bulandshahr, JPS Rathore for Pilibhit-Shahjahanpur, Anirudh Chandel for Lucknow-Unnao, Hariom Upadhyay for Jhansi-Jalaun-Lalitpur, Rais Chandra Shukla for Allahabad-Kaushambi and KC Tripathi for Sultanpur. Nominations for these elections have started and polling is scheduled for March 3.
Candidate for Varanasi constituency is missing from the first list while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been included as voter in the MLC elections in the capacity of local MP.
On the question of “outsiders” getting support of BJP in MLC election, party state president Laxmikant Bajpai said they all are with the party now. He said that it was the first list and more candidates could be declared in coming days for remaining seats.