BJP releases list for UP, Brijesh Pathak to fight from Lucknow Cantt

Lucknow: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday sprang a surprise by dropping women welfare minister Swati Singh. BJP on Tuesday released a list of 17 candidates for Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. The party also changed the constituency of Law Minister Brijesh Pathak. Speaker of Uttar Pradesh assembly Hriday Narayan Dikshit, who is the sitting MLA from Bhagwantnagar, was dropped and Ashutosh Shukla was announced as the candidate. Voting will be held in the area on February 23. Swati Singh, who is a Minister of State with Independent Charge in the state government, was also dropped. Rajrajeswar Singh, the former joint Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED) who took VRS recently and had joined BJP a day earlier, was announced as the candidate from the Sarojini Nagar seat, on which Swati Singh is the incumbent MLA. In another surprise the party changed the constituency of Law Minister Brijesh Pathak from Lucknow central to Lucknow Cantonment, thus denying ticket to sitting lawmaker Suresh Tiwari. There were speculations that Aparna Bisht Yadav, the daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had joined the BJP recently, would contest from Lucknow cantonment. Even BJP MP from Prayagraj Rita Bahuguna Joshi had asked for a party ticket for her son Mayank from Lucknow cantonment constituency, which she had won twice – once as Congress candidate and in 2017 as BJP candidate. “The BJP played safe and gave ticket to Brijesh Pathak from that constituency as he also wanted a change in his constituency,” a top BJP leader said. The BJP also changed its candidate from Bakshi ka Talab as sitting lawmaker Avinash Trivedi was changed with Yogesh Shukla. Anjani Srivastava is a BJP candidate from Lucknow west and Rajnish Gupta from Lucknow central. Party has repeated Neeraj Bora from Lucknow North and Urban Development Minister Ashutosh Tandon from Lucknow east. The party replaced Hridaya Narain Dixit, the speaker of Vidhan Sabha with Ashutosh Shukla from the Bhawant Nagar constituency in Unnao district. In another surprise, party gave ticket to Jaya Devi, wife of Union Minister Kaushal Kishore, from Malihabad while Shashank Trivedi is the party candidate for Maholi. Party also gave tickets to Manish Rawat (Sidhauli), Rakesh Rathore Guru (Sitapur), Amarpal Maurya (Unchahar), Rajendra Patel (Jahanabad), Chandra Prakash Mishra (Gauriganj), and Chandrika Prasad (Chitrakoot). UNI MB

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