Delay in announcement of candidates sparks speculation in BJP

  • | Monday | 8th April, 2024

With the process of filing of nomination papers for the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections a few days away, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh is yet to announce its candidates for 12 crucial parliamentary constituencies, shrouding the political landscape in suspense. The important Lok Sabha seats where candidates are yet to be announced include Rae Bareli, Kaiserganj, Mainpuri, Deoria, Ballia and Firozabad. The BJPs central election committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president JP Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak deliberated over potential candidates for various Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh during a meeting held in Delhi on March 23. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, out of the 12 seats in question, the BJP secured nine, while the SP clinched Mainpuri, the Bahujan Samaj Party triumphed in Ghazipur and the Congress won Rae Bareli. While the BJP released its first list of candidates for 51 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh on March 2, the remaining 13, including one replacement, were announced on March 24. However, the suspense continues over the final 12 constituencies. Of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has allocated five to its alliance partners. Although discussions have taken place regarding the potential candidates for the remaining 12 seats, no official announcement has been made yet. The prolonged delay has triggered anxiety among ticket aspirants, leading to fervent lobbying for candidacy. Several hopefuls have converged on Delhi, aiming to meet senior party leaders influential in ticket allotment. Sources suggest that the BJP is awaiting the Congress to announce its candidate for Rae Bareli seat before finalising its candidate. Rae Bareli, a stronghold of the Congress, has remained beyond the BJPs reach despite the Modi wave in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, with Sonia Gandhi opting for Rajya Sabha, the BJP sees it as an opportunity to make inroads in the Congress bastion. The Samajwadi Party has maintained a grip on the Mainpuri seat since 1996, posing a challenge for the saffron party. Amidst speculations, it is anticipated that the BJP might field an upper caste candidate to regain the Ghazipur seat. Virendra Singh Mast, the BJP candidate from Ballia, might be shifted to another seat. Sitting BJP MP Ramapati Ram Tripathi vies for the ticket from Deoria, while local BJP leaders also clamor for candidacy. The filing of nomination for two seats – Firozabad and Mainpuri – scheduled to go to polls in the third phase, will commence on April 12, while for three seats – Rae Bareli, Kaushambi, and Kaiserganj – slated for the fifth phase polls, it will begin on April 26.

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