UP polls: BJP may drop 80 MLAs in final candidates’ list

The saffron party is only banking on the ‘winnability’ of candidates before giving them tickets. It is likely to field candidates only 380 of the total 403 Assembly seats

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BJP's income was Rs 149.86 crore more than the aggregate of income from unknown sources declared by the other six national parties | Representative photo: PTI

Days after it released its fourth list of candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the BJP on Monday drew up its final list of candidates which would see it dropping around 80 sitting MLAs and shuffling constituencies of at least a dozen legislators, a prominent news website has reported.

The saffron party has so far announced 195 candidates for the 403-member Assembly. It released its fourth list of 85 names last Friday. The BJP is likely to contest in only 380 seats and leave the rest for allies Apna Dal and NISHAD party

According to the report, while the decision to shuffle seats and drop sitting MLAs was taken at a meeting attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the party’s central election committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on Tuesday (January 25) to give it a final approval.

Quoting sources in the BJP, the report said that the party high command has examined the ‘winnability’ quotient of all sitting MLAs before picking names that would be dropped. In defence on the said strategy of the party to chuck old faces and introduce new ones, the sources said that a chunk of the BJP’s 312 winning MLAs last time were new faces.


“The feedback from the constituency, the performance of the MLAs in the constituency and in the organization, and the credibility of the person were factored in for taking a final decision. Certainly, there were a few constituencies where the party had to seek consensus when there were more than one candidate with good credentials,” a source was quoted as saying.

The sources said that while the BJP leadership earlier had a longer list of MLAs to be dropped, it was compelled to shorten it following the exit of three ministers from the Yogi cabinet and MLAs just ahead of the polls. The party has also exercised caution while selecting candidates whose constituencies will be shuffled, keeping in mind public sentiment in favour of the said MLA and situation on ground.

The saffron party may face a challenge in eastern UP, where its former ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan, both OBC strongmen, are expected to sway the votes in the favour of the Samajwadi Party.

The crucial Assembly polls for the country’s biggest state will be held in seven phases starting February 10. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.