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UP election wrap: BJP fields Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur; Bhim Army chief rules out SP tie-up; and more

Earlier, talks were rife that Adityanath would be contesting from Ayodhya. The party was seeing the move as one that would amplify the Hindutva message and galvanise the cadre, more so when the Ram temple project is well under way.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath speaks during an event in Deoband. (PTI)

The BJP on Saturday announced its first list of 107 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to contest from Gorakhpur Urban and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to contest from Sirathu. The list includes 57 candidates for the first phase and 48 candidates for the second phase.

The list was released by the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with the party general secretary Arun Singh during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi.

“Today, we are announcing 57 of 58 seats of the first phase of the elections and 48 seats out of 55 seats of the second phase. The remaining seats have been discussed in the meeting of our party’s Parliamentary Board and the National President has been given the right [to decide on those seats]. Besides, some seats will be given to our alliance partners. Therefore, we are not declaring those seats today,” he said.

Pradhan also expressed confidence that the BJP will win over 300 seats in the upcoming polls.

The first list of the BJP also included sitting ministers and MLAs, including UP’s Power Minister Shrikant Sharma from Mathura, Animal Husbandry Minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narayan Singh from Chaata, sitting Noida MLA Pankaj Singh and Suresh Rana from Thana Bhawan.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to inspect a Covid-19 care ward at BRD Medical Collage in Gorakhpur, Saturday, Jan 15, 2021. (PTI)

Earlier, talks were rife that Adityanath would be contesting from Ayodhya. The party was seeing the move as one that would amplify the Hindutva message and galvanise the cadre, more so when the Ram temple project is well under way.

No alliance with SP: Chandrashekhar Azad

Azad Samaj Party (ASP) chief Chandrashekhar Azad Saturday claimed that Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav “insulted” him and announced that his party will not forge an alliance with SP for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

In a press conference, Azad said discussions on a possible tie-up went on for more than a month. The ASP leader further said that they are likely to contest the election on their own if the “divided” Opposition is not united.

Bhim Army, Bhim Army chieff Chandrashekhar Azad, Azad Samaj Party campaign by Chandrashekhar azad, Bulandshahr by polls, indian express news Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad. (File photo)

“After discussions for a month and 10 days, I realised, in the end, that Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t need Dalits. In this alliance, he doesn’t have space for Dalit leadership. He just wants Dalits to vote for them. I follow the principles of Kashiram who made Netaji the leader. It was apprehension among all of us that what if Dalits have to go through exploitation once their party comes to power. In the last two days, the Bahujan society has been insulted,” said Azad.

He also claimed that there is a deadlock on several issues, including that of promotion of reservation for Dalits and backward classes. While ASP wanted a concrete reservation plan, SP did not agree to it, Azad said.

BJP has already sent Adityanath home, says Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday took a jibe at the BJP’s decision to field Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from the Gorakhpur constituency, saying the saffron party has already sent him home.

“As far as contesting elections is concerned, earlier it was said that he (Adityanath) will contest from Mathura, Prayagraj, Ayodhya or Deoband. I am happy that the BJP has already sent him home (Gorakhpur)” “Although he is in Gorakhpur, he had a ticket dated March 11 (counting of votes on March 10) booked for it earlier. I think that he should stay back in Gorakhpur and there is no need for him to return (to Lucknow). Heartiest congratulations,” Yadav was quoted as saying to reporters in Lucknow.


The SP chief further said no MLAs or ministers quitting the BJP will be taken into his party anymore.

Amid mass defections, Mayawati calls SP ‘anti-Dalit’ party

As several leaders from the BJP shifted allegiance to the Samajwadi Party (SP) saying it worked for the Dalits and backward classes, BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday pooh-poohed the claim, saying the party’s past record shows its “anti-Dalit” approach.

BSP Supremo Mayawati releases the first candidates’ list of the party for UP Assembly elections, at the party office in Lucknow, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (PTI)

Addressing a press conference on her birthday, she announced the names of 53 BSP candidates for constituencies that would go to the polls in the first phase on February 10. “The SP’s past record shows it always took an anti-Dalit approach,” Mayawati was quoted as saying by PTI.

Mayawati also clarified that she would not contest the Assembly elections, but take the legislative council route, if her party is voted to power.

EC extends ban on poll rallies

The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday announced it has extended the ban on physical rallies and roadshows for the upcoming assembly elections across five states to January 22 but granted relaxation to parties to conduct indoor meetings with maximum 300 persons or 50% of the capacity of the hall.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra during  a press conference in Lucknow. (PTI)

“No road show, padyatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession shall be allowed till 22 January, 2022. The Commission shall subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly. No physical rally of political parties or candidates (including probables) or any other group related to election shall be allowed till 22 January, 2022,” the EC said in a statement.

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“However, the Commission has granted relaxation for the political parties to extend indoor meetings to a maximum of 300 persons or 50% of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by the SDMA,” it added.

First published on: 15-01-2022 at 08:20:11 pm
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