New Delhi, January 18
The BJP, which announced two more candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections to Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, is believed to have “almost finalised” the seat-sharing formula with existing allies, the Apna Dal and the Nishad Party, which appear to be seeking a better deal than the last time, according to sources.
While the BJP is believed to have decided around “18 seats for the Apna Dal and 12-15 for the Nishad Party”, the two allies are said to be angling for more. The Apna Dal, which contested 11 seats last time, is demanding as many as 36 seats, say sources. So far, the BJP has announced 109 candidates for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly.
The central leadership, which on Tuesday discussed probable candidates for the remaining phases and seat-sharing with alliance partners, is also said to be working on some change in the strategy.
While Home Minister Amit Shah will be undertaking an extensive tour of the state beginning January 22, almost taking the command in his hand, the source say the party has decided to be “more generous with allies and some of the incumbent legislators, who would have otherwise been axed, might also be repeated”.
While the BJP had earlier planned to change anywhere between 100 to 150 sitting MLAs, the “re-think in strategy” seems to be guided by the recent exodus of key OBC leaders, including three ministers, from the Adityanath Cabinet. The party is now considering limiting this number to 40/50 even though internal surveys have suggested a bigger change to tackle the anti-incumbency factor and a resurgent Samajwadi party, say the sources.
So far, in the first two phases, the BJP has dropped 20 sitting MLAs.
The leadership is also taking all care to keep the caste arithmetic and balance intact by giving due representation to all castes, including Brahmins, OBCs, and SCs. The fact that some seats are yet to be announced in western UP appears to be an indication of adjustments with some local players there in mind the SP-RLD candidates.
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