The BJP will announce on Friday the names of about 150 candidates in its second list for the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh that goes to poll between February and March to elect a new government.
The names of the candidates were decided at a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s election committee on Thursday night.
The second list is expected to include family members and relatives of several BJP veterans, including Union home minister Rajnath Singh, Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh and Lok Sabha MPs such as Hukum Singh and Brajbhushan Sharan Singh.
“We have tried to keep the number of outsiders as minimum as possible in the second list,” said a member of the election committee without going into the figures.
The state goes to polls in seven phases starting February 11. The party is making a hard push to regain power in the state, where it won 71 of the 80 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The saffron party’s first list of 149 candidates for the country’s most populous states, announced on Monday, triggered a widespread protest from party workers. About two dozen turncoats have been fielded from different seats in western UP, such as Ghaziabad, Baghpat, Amroha and Meerut.
Workers have protested outside the BJP headquarters and party president Amit Shah’s residence in New Delhi. They shouted slogans against Union minister Mahesh Sharma, BJP’s sangathan mantri Sunil Bansal, alleging that tickets were “auctioned”.
Shah’s effigy, too, was burnt in some parts of the state.
Similar protests have also been seen in Uttarakhand where 15 outsiders figured in the BJP’s first list of 64 candidates.
The party is discussing the candidates for the remaining six seats and BJP leaders were holding a meeting with Uttarakhand leadership on Friday morning to avoid any rebellion after the announcement. The names of these six candidates are also expected to be announced on Friday.
All eyes are on Haldwani assembly constituency, sought by veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari’s son Rohit Shekhar. They met Shah in New Delhi on Wednesday and extended their support to the BJP in the hill state.