RS polls: UP BJP paints collage of castes, regions as 7 candidates file papers - Hindustan Times
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Rajya Sabha elections: BJP paints collage of castes and regions as 7 candidates file papers from Uttar Pradesh

Feb 14, 2024 07:49 PM IST

BJP's Rajya Sabha candidates from Uttar Pradesh include four OBCs, two upper castes, and a Jain. Given the BJP’s strength, their victory is assured.

LUCKNOW: Seven Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates, including four OBCs, two upper castes, and a Jain, filed their nominations as party candidates from Uttar Pradesh for the February 27 Rajya Sabha polls. Given the BJP’s strength, their victory is assured.

BJP candidates show victory signs after filing their nominations for Rajya Sabha elections in the presence of UP CM Yogi Adityanath, in Lucknow on Wednesday. (HT Photo)
BJP candidates show victory signs after filing their nominations for Rajya Sabha elections in the presence of UP CM Yogi Adityanath, in Lucknow on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

All seven BJP candidates submitted their nominations in the presence of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak, as well as the new UP election in-charge Baijayant Jay Panda, (60), the Odisha MP and national vice-president, who made his first appearance since being appointed for the key assignment.

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Chief minister Yogi Adityanath flashed the victory sign and left for Varanasi immediately after the candidates filed papers before returning officer Brij Bhushan Dubey, the special secretary to Vidhan Sabha.

“All sections are represented,” said Panda while referring to the selection of party’s Rajya Sabha picks from UP.

He also added for effect, “Ram ji ki kripa aur janata ke ashirwad se 80 main 80 seat jitengey (with blessings of Lord Ram and UP voters we will win all 8o LS seats in the state)”.

‘Labarthis (beneficiaries)’ have been a big focus of BJP government’s schemes, but the UP BJP chief added another element to it.

“Hum sab bhi Modi ji ki nitiyon ke labarthi hi hain (we are all beneficiaries of Modi government’s policies),” UP BJP chief Bhupendra Chaudhary said, crediting the PM for creating an environment so conducive that the party’s representation is now reflected everywhere from ‘panchayats to the parliament’.”

Deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak also praised the party leadership and added to the “all 80” clamour, intended as much for raising the party cadre’s morale ahead of a key Lok Sabha poll as for driving confusion in the opposition ranks which has continued to lose key leaders and alliance partners to the BJP or BJP-led-NDA.

To be sure, UP has generously aided formation of successive party governments under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stewardship since 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The 2019 Lok Sabha polls where BJP won despite a SP-BSP pact or the spectacular back-to-back wins in UP elections (2017, 2022) too were a case in point and now ahead of 2024 LS polls, the BJP has opted for a collage of castes and regions for RS polls.

BJP's nominees from UP

Those who filed nominations included Sudhanshu Trivedi, the lone Brahmin candidate in the fray and the only one repeated by the party for the Rajya Sabha. “Today is a joyous occasion even more so as today being Basant Panchami. The occasion is joyous because today the first-ever Hindu temple is being inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi in Abu Dhabi,” said Trivedi, a popular national spokesman of the party.

Former Congress leader RPN Singh, a three-term OBC (Sainthwar) lawmaker from Padrauna, who made a political switch to BJP in 2022. “I had always been a party cadre and will always remain so,” said Singh who appeared overwhelmed with the RS nomination.

Sadhna Singh, a former lawmaker who courted controversy due to a remark directed at Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati too thanked the party leadership as did former Agra mayor and businessman Navin Jain.

The other names include Amarpal Maurya, another OBC leader and BJP’s UP general secretary, who is close to deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Chaudhari Tejveer Singh, a three-time Jat MP from Mathura is also among the party picks.

The other woman on the BJP list is Sangeeta Balwant, former lawmaker who hails from Ghazipur. She is also an OBC (Bind).

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