BJP flags (File Photo)
In a surprise move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday declared list of candidates for 10 of the 11 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh going to polls on October 21. The Saffron party has left the Pratapgarh Assembly segment to its ally Apna Dal, who picked BJP's Raj Kumar Pal to contest the seat. Pal, who was earlier associated with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP), is now a district level BJP functionary.
The decision to field Pal was made in late Sunday night after hours of suspense following BJP's first list of candidates featuring only 10 candidates for the upcoming Assembly bypolla in Uttar Pradesh. The candidates nominated from 10 other seats are - Bharat Bhushan Gupta (Rampur), Kirat Singh (Gangoh), Surendra Maithani (Govind Nagar), Rajkumar Sahyogi (Iglas), Anand Shukla (Manikpur), Ambrish Rawat (Zaidpur), Rajesh Singh from (Jalalpur), Saroj Sonkar from (Balha) and Vijay Rajbhar (Ghosi).
Bypolls to the 11 Uttar Pradesh Assembly seats were necessiated after all of the MLAs put in their papers following victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections held between April and May.
By-elections are not being held on the Tundla seat since the matter is sub-judice. Of the seats where by-elections are being held, Rampur belonged to Samajwadi Party while Jalalpur was won by Bhaujan Samaj Party in 2017. The remaining 9 seats are held by the BJP.
Apart from Uttar Pradesh, other states where assembly bypolls will be held include Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha and Puducherry (one seat each). The other states are Assam (4), Bihar (5), Gujarat (4), Himachal Pradesh (2), Kerala (5), Punjab (4), Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu (two each) and Sikkim (3).
By-elections in Uttar Pradesh along with 16 other states will be held on October 21 while the counting of votes will be taken up on October 24.