In June 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked voters to choose his development agenda over politics of dynasty and rule of corruption.
Seven months later, when BJP on Sunday released its second list of 155 candidates for UP assembly poll, not one but several relatives of saffron party leaders were awarded tickets. They included Pankaj Singh, son of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, sister of Vijay Bahuguna and Mriganka Singh, daughter of BJP MP from Kairana, Hukum Singh.
Another striking feature of BJP’s list so far has been is that it has no Muslim candidates in a state that has over 20 percent minority vote share.
With this, the party has so far announced the names of 304 candidates. The election to the 403-member Assembly will take place in seven phases, starting February 11
BJP has also fielded Garima Singh, first wife of Amethi royal and Congress MP Sanjay Singh, from Amethi, according to the official list released on Sunday by its general secretary Arun Singh and Uttar Pradesh unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya at a press conference
Announcing the names here, Arun Singh said the list represents all sections of people, adding, “BJP is confident of forming a government in UP with a two-third majority”
Asked about absence of Muslim nominee in the list, he said there was “no suitable” candidate
Pankaj Singh, a general secretary in the party’s state unit, has missed out on becoming its nominee in a couple of previous elections. His name was doing the rounds for a number of constituencies with the party finally allotting Noida seat to him
Brajesh Pathak, who joined the party after deserting BSP, has been given ticket from Lucknow Central
The seven-phase polls in the state will take place on February 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, March 4 and 8
The party has been pulling out all stops to capture power in UP, which in terms of political implications is more important than all other four poll-bound states.