21 Brahmins, 20 OBCs in BJP's 7th list of 91 UP candidates

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21 Brahmins, 20 OBCs in BJP’s 7th list of 91 UP candidates
© Provided by The Times of India

LUCKNOW: BJP released its seventh list for UP on Friday and met the target of dropping 20% of its sitting MLAs, by replacing 17 legislators with new faces. The list of 91 candidates has maximum Brahmins — 21 — as per the caste balance of the eastern region which votes in the fourth and fifth phases. Besides, 20 candidates from the OBCs have made it to the list, emphasising the backward outreach of the party.

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BJP won 76 of these 91 seats in 2017. Two of them have defected while one succumbed to Covid last year. The party has also replaced two MLAs with their kin. Out of 71 sitting MLAs, it has retained 53, or nearly 77%, and changed the seat of one minister. The list also has nine women candidates.

While most of the 13 ministers have been fielded again, the party has replaced cooperative minister Mukut Bihari Verma with his son Gaurav in Kaiserganj. Another senior minister, Shriram Chauhan, has been shifted from his Dhanghata seat to Khajni. In Dhanghata, he has been replaced by Ganesh Chauhan.

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The list cleared by BJP’s poll committee has named ministers like Siddharth Nath Singh, who will contest from Allahabad West, and Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’, who will be in the fray from Allahabad South. Agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi will contest from Pathardeva seat.

The party has once again shown faith in the sitting Ayodhya MLA, Ved Prakash Gupta. The 7th list also has the name of the media advisor to the Yogi government, Shalabh Mani Tripathi, from Deoria. His name was doing the rounds during Lok Sabha polls as well. Two turncoats, Congress’s Rakesh Sachan (Bhognipur) and SP’s Subhash Rai (Jalalpur) are also on the list.

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