The BJP on Saturday announced mayoral candidates for Gorakhpur, Ayodhya, Kanpur, Meerut and Agra municipal corporations — two days before the last date for filing nominations for the first phase of urban local body polls. All these corporations are set to vote in the first phase on November 22.
For Ayodhya Nagar Nigam, the party has chosen BJP district executive committee member Rishikesh Upadhyay — considered close to the RSS despite holding any post in the organisation. Sources said all important programmes of RSS in Faizabad are organised in the three degree colleges that are run by Upadhyay. He was a leading contender for the BJP ticket from Ayodhya in the 2017 UP polls. Overall, 53 people had applied for the ticket, including RSS workers, priests and a senior Hindu Yuva Vahini leader.
In Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s hometown of Gorakhpur, BJP has picked local trader leader Sitaram Jaiswal, who has been associated with the party for a long time. Sources said while Adityanath had recommended the office-bearer of BJP’s Gorakhpur unit, Jaiswal — who enjoys RSS backing — was given the ticket. There were 26 aspirants in fray, including Hindu Yuva Vahini leaders, for the ticket. The seat is reserved for OBCs.
In Meerut, BJP has fielded party state vice-president Kanta Kardam as the mayoral candidate. A full-time BJP worker, Kardam belongs to the Jatav community. The mayor seat in Meerut is reserved for a SC woman candidate. At least 22 BJP workers had applied for the ticket.
For the post of Kanpur mayor, reserved for a woman, BJP has chosen Pramila Pandey — a former municipal corporator. She was also the party mahanagar vice-president and mahila morcha mahanagar president.
In Agra, the party has fielded Navin Jain, the BJP state co-treasurer. Sources said that Jain, who runs a construction firm, was a former deputy mayor and a municipal corporator.