The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday announced its decision to field Thakur Dhirendra Singh, 50, from the Jewar assembly constituency and Tejpal Nagar, 53, from the Dadri assembly constituency from Gautam Budh Nagar district in the upcoming state assembly elections.
The party has not yet announced a candidate for the Noida assembly constituency. It announced candidates for 149 of Uttar Pradesh’s 403 constituencies.
The Gautam Budh Nagar district has a total of three assembly segments — Noida, Dadri and Jewar. The three constituencies will go to polls on February 11 and the results will be declared on March 11.
Historically, the Dadri and Jewar seats have been the strongholds of Gurjar and Rajput communities. There is a total of 12,52,266 voters in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
Former Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Thakur Dhirendra Singh had joined BJP on January 8. Singh quit the Congress and joined BJP on the assurance of a ticket from Jewar, as he was unsure that the Congress would give him a ticket.
In 2012, at the height of the farmers’ agitation at Bhatta Parsaul, Singh had driven Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to the village on his bike. Singh had contested last assembly polls on a Congress ticket from Jewar and lost to the Bahujan Samaj Party nominee, Ved Ram Bhati, by over 9,000 votes.
Tejpal Nagar, a teacher by profession, is considered close to the minister of state for tourism and culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma, who is the member of Parliament from the district.
Nagar, a resident of Akalpur village (neighbouring Badalpur, from where BSP chief Mayawati hails) has been with the Congress and BSP before joining BJP. Nagar had joined BJP in 2014 when he came in contact with Dr Mahesh Sharma during the Lok Sabha elections. Nagar is currently serving as the principal of Saint Vinoba Bhave Inter College at Vaidpura in Greater Noida. He is contesting an assembly election for the first time.
Senior BJP leader, Nawab Singh Nagar, who has won the Dadri seat twice (in 1996 and 2002), but lost the last two elections (2007 and 2012) was also in the race for a ticket.
However, Gautam Budh Nagar MP and Union minister Dr Mahesh Sharma said, “Since Nawab Singh Nagar lost consecutively two times from Dadri, the party has given the opportunity to another worker.”
On questions regarding unrest among BJP workers in Gautam Budh Nagar, Sharma said, “Tickets have been given by the party’s central leadership and we all must respect that.”
On the Noida candidate, who is yet to be announced, Sharma said, “The candidate for Noida is yet to be announced. Senior leaders may take a decision in this regard on Tuesday.”