Updated: January 29, 2022 7:06:27 am
In the high-profile Ayodhya seat, the ruling party has fielded its sitting MLA Ved Prakash Gupta. Earlier, there was speculation that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath may be nominated from Ayodhya, but the party fielded him from Gorakhpur Urban, his home turf.
The BJP seems to have made significant changes in the districts of Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, and Sant Kabir Nagar in eastern UP where Adityanath has influence. In Gorakhpur district, the party has denied ticket to the CM’s close confidant and sitting MLA Sheetal Pandey in the Sahajanwa constituency, replacing him with Pradeep Shukla.
The BJP has replaced sitting MLA from Biswan, Mahendra Singh, with Nirmal Verma who had finished third on this seat as the BSP candidate in the 2017 polls. Verma switched to the BJP a few days ago. In Bhognipur, the party has replaced sitting MLA Vinod Kumar Katiyar with former Congress leader Rakesh Sachan who defected to its fold on Thursday. In Tindwari, where sitting MLA Brijesh Kumar Prajapati crossed over to the Samajwadi Party (SP) earlier this month, the BJP has fielded Ramakesh Nishad.
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On various seats, the saffron party has replaced sitting MLAs with their family members. For instance, in Bikapur in Ayodhya district, in place of Shobha Singh Chauhan, her son Amit Singh Chauhan, a medical practitioner, will contest. In Goshainganj seat in the same district, it has fielded Aarti Tiwari, wife of MLA Indra Pratap alias Khabbu Tiwari, who had been disqualified from the UP Assembly following his conviction in a 28-year old case of alleged use of fake mark sheet for getting admission in a college.
In Kaiserganj in Bahraich district, sitting MLA and cabinet minister Mukut Bihari has been replaced with his son Gaurav. In the SC-reserved Salon constituency, where MLA Dal Bahadur Kori had passed away due to post-Covid complications last year, his son Ashok Kori will be the BJP nominee.
The BJP has replaced MLA Sant Prasad in the Khajani constituency with minister Sriram Chauhan, who is a sitting MLA from Dhanghata in Sant Kabir Nagar district. In Dhanghata, Chauhan has been replaced with another party worker from his caste, Ganesh Chandra Chauhan.
In the Khalialabad seat in Sant Kabir Nagar, sitting MLA Digvijay Narayan alias Jay Chaubey, who recently joined the SP, has been replaced with Ankur Raj Tiwari.
The BJP has replaced sitting MLA Satya Prakash Mani Tripathi in Brahmins-dominated Deoria seat with Shalabh Mani Tripathi, CM Adityanath’s media advisor and a former journalist. Tripathi had won the seat in a bypoll following the demise of erstwhile party MLA Janmejai Singh in 2020. In this district, the party denied tickets to sitting MLAs in Rampur Karkhana and Barhaj too.
In Kushinagar district, the BJP has replaced sitting MLAs on the seats of Fazilnagar, Kushinagar and Hata with new faces from the party organisation. Other seats where the party has replaced sitting MLAs with new faces include Phaphamau, Koraon (Prayagraj district), Haidergarh (Barabanki district) and Belthara Road (Ballia).
The party has pitted Sindhuja Mishra against “muscleman” politician Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias “Raja Bhaiyya” in Kunda in Pratapgarh district.
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