The BJP on Sunday announced the name of 10 candidates for the biennial election to the Legislative Council of Uttar Pradesh and three candidates for Bihar. The party named two candidates from the Dalit community — one for each state. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP with 324 MLAs, including 311 of its own, nine of ally Apna Dal and four of another ally Suheldeo Bharatiya Samja Party (SBSP), is in a position to comfortably win 11 out of the 13 seats of the Legislative Council that are going to polls. But it decided to field 10 candidates and leave one seat for its ally Apna Dal.
Apna Dal president Ashish Singh Patel, husband of Union Minister Anupriya Patel, will be a party candidate and will file nomination on Monday, which is the last day for filing nomination. The list of BJP candidates has two Muslims, including Mohsin Raza and Bukkal Nawab. Raza is the lone Muslim minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. Nawab has been an MLC twice from the Samajwadi Party, but resigned from Council’s membership last year and joined BJP with then BSP MLC Jaiveer Singh, who was also named a candidate for MLC polls as a BJP nominee Sunday.
While the UP government has been facing allegations from within the BJP for promoting Thakurs, the party named three Thakurs for the MLC elections. Along with Jaiveer Singh, other two are Yashwant Singh and Mahendra Singh. Mahendra Singh is a senior BJP leader and is presently a state minister. The current term of Mahendra Singh and Mohsin Raza in the Legislative Council will end on May 5.
The BJP list includes one Dalit, Vidya Sagar Sonkar, who is presently party state general secretary. A former MP, Sonkar had lost the Assembly election from Saidpur in 2017. There is one Brahmin in the list — Vijay Bahadur Pathak, who is a close aide of senior party leader Kalraj Mishra, and presently party state general secretary for second term. The BJP has named another party general secretary, Ashok Kataria — who is from a backward caste.
In Bihar, the list of party candidates include deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, health minister Mangal Pandey and party leader from Dalit community— Sanjay Paswan. Paswan was a Union Minister in the Atal Vihari Vajpayee government. Modi and Pandey are Council members, but their term will end on May 6.