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BJP's first Uttar Pradesh list sees OBC push to counter rivals

ANI | Updated: Jan 15, 2022 23:52 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], January 15 (ANI): The BJP has given other backward classes (OBCs) the largest chunk of seats in its first list of candidates for Uttar Pradesh elections as the party seeks to counter the efforts of its rivals, particularly Samajwadi Party, who are trying to erode its base among the numerically significant community in the crucial poll-bound state.
The list saw the party also seeking to reach out to other communities and sections. The BJP has seen ten of its MLAs and of its allies leaving the party over the past few days and prominent OBC face Swami Prasad Maurya, joining the Samajwadi Party,
The BJP's first list of 107 candidates has 44 OBC candidates besides 19 members from the Dalit community and ten women.
While the Samajwadi Party has, in particular, been seeking to dent BJP's support among OBCs, the Congress is keeping particular focus on women.
The BJP has denied tickets to 20 MLAs. .

Three OBC ministers, including Swami Prasad Maurya, had resigned in three days from the Yogi Adiyanath government and two of them joined the Samajwadi Party on Friday. Those who left the BJP had sought to portray the BJP as "anti-backward class".
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who also belongs to OBC community, announced the first list of BJP candidates on Saturday.
Chief Minster Yogi Adityanath will contest from Gorakhpur seat and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu in Prayagraj. The list has ministers including Suresh Rana and Shrikant Sharma. Pankaj Singh, the son of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, will re-contest from Noida.
Former Uttarakhand governor Baby Rani Maurya will fight from Agra (rural).
The BJP's reach out to OBCs is seen to have a big role in its success in the 2017 assembly polls in the state and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party is keen to retain its support among the community. The BJP's campaign has seen Hindutva push besides thrust on grassroots delivery of development schemes of the state government and the Centre.
The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (ANI)