All nine rebel Congress MLAs who joined the BJP ahead of the Harish Rawat government’s floor test in Uttarakhand will get a saffron party ticket to contest the upcoming assembly elections, sources said on Monday.
The BJP’s central election committees cleared their names in a meeting held on Sunday evening.
Senior leaders of Uttarakhand BJP had expressed their reservation about accommodation the rebel candidates, fearing sabotage by those BJP leaders who were claimants for these seats.
“All sitting legislators of the BJP have also been given another chance to contest,” a source said.
While three former chief ministers - BC Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (all MPs) - have not been given a ticket, former Congress MP Satpal Maharaj will contest assembly election on a BJP ticket.
Candidates for about 62 out of 70 seats of Uttarakhand have been finalised and an announcement of their names is expected on Monday.
The hill state – where Congress’ Harish Rawat managed to save his government in a floor test last year after intervention from the Supreme Court – goes to the polls on February 15.
The election committee also cleared names of candidates for 150-plus seats of Uttar Pradesh. These include seats of the western UP region that will go to poll in the first and second phases of election in the second week of February.
“The fate of relatives of senior BJP leaders remains undecided,” the source said. A decision on whether or not to nominate them will be taken in the next meeting of the election committee slated for Tuesday.
Home minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister Kalraj Mishra, Kairana MP Hukum Singh, Gonda MP Brajbhushan Sharan Singh, former Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi besides former BSP leaders Swami Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak are among others seeking tickets for their sons, daughters and wife.