BJP Monday nominated its Uttar Pradesh unit vice-president and former state minister Shiv Pratap Shukla as party candidate for Rajya Sabha elections. The party also named party president for Moradabad region, Bhupendra Chaudhary, and Daya Shanker Singh, who started his political career as a student leader with ABVP, as its candidates for the state Legislative Council elections.
The RS and MLC elections will be held on June 10 and June 11, respectively.
With its nominees, the BJP has sent out a strong message that long-time loyal party workers will be rewarded in some way or the other.
The party has chosen Shukla to fill the seat being vacated by Union MoS Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who has been renominated to the Upper House from Jharkhand.
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While Shukla is a Brahmin, Chaudhary is a Jat and Singh a Thakur. Singh had contested the MLC polls in 2015 too, but failed to get enough votes.
BJP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya told reporters at BJP headquarters that Shukla, Singh and Chaudhary will file their nomination papers on May 31.
Tuesday is the last day of filing nomination and candidates of all other major parties — SP, BSP and Congress — have filed their papers.
With a total of 42 MLAs in the UP Assembly, BJP can easily send Shukla to RS. It can also elect one MLC while for the second it will need the support of additional 16 MLAs. While 34 votes are needed to win a RS seat, 29 votes are required to win a Legislative Council seat.
BSP, with 80 MLAs, has announced three candidates for Legislative Council and will require an additional seven votes to get its third candidate elected. SP has fielded eight candidates and Congress has fielded one.
To a question on how the party would ensure success of its second candidate in the Legislative Council, Maurya said: “Wait for the results. We are confident of victory.”
Asserting that in the Assembly elections next year, BJP will be successful in making UP free from SP and BSP, he said, “We will be successful in achieving the target of 265-plus seats and form the next government in state.”
To a query as to who would be the chief ministerial face of BJP in UP Assembly elections, Maurya said it will be decided by the the party’s central parliamentary board.
Meanwhile, former minister Ram Bhual Nishad, who had contested the last Lok Sabha election as BSP candidate from Gorakhpur, joined the BJP on Monday.
After joining the party in the presence of Maurya and former MP Jugul Kishore, who switched to BJP from BSP this January, Nishad said he had been promised a ticket by BSP to contest from Gorakhpur rural Assembly seat, but it was cancelled because he declined to pay Rs 6 crore demanded by the party. He said he was expelled from BSP in February.