Sitting BJP MLAs have made way for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya to contest from the Gorakhpur Urban and Sirathu assembly seats in the Uttar Pradesh elections.
While four-time MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal has been replaced by Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur Urban seat, Sheetla Prasad paved way for Mr Maurya in Sirathu in Prayagraj district in the list of 107 candidates released by the BJP for the first two phases of polls.
Mukesh Chaudhary has benefited from the exit of former minister Dharam Singh Saini with the party naming him from Nakur constituency in Saharanpur.
Yogi Adityanath will be contesting the assembly polls for the first time. Mr Maurya was an MLA from Sirathu in 2012.
While releasing the list of nominees in Delhi, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters that the BJP’s list has 63 sitting MLAs, while 20 have made way for others.
The present ministers who figured in the list are Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary (Chhata in Mathura), Suresh Rana (Thana Bhavan in Shamli), Shrikant Sharma (Mathura), Suresh Khanna (Shahjahanpur), Kapildev Aggarwal (Muzaffarnagar), Atul Garg (Ghaziabad), Anil Sharma (Shikarpur in Bulandshahr), Sandeep Singh (Atrauli in Aligarh), GS Dharmesh (Agra Cantt), Gulabo Devi (Chandausi in Sambhal), Baldev Singh Aulakh (Bilaspur in Rampur) and Mahesh Gupta (Budaun).
Former minister Dharampal Singh has been fielded from Aonla (in Bareilly) assembly constituency. Former Uttarakhand governor and now BJP vice-president Baby Rani Maurya, a Dalit, has been fielded from Agra (rural).
Pankaj Singh, son of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, will again contest from Noida seat. Sitting BJP MLA Sangeet Som has been given ticket from Sardhana (in Meerut).
Highlighting the BJP’s outreach to marginalised communities, Pradhan said the party has fielded a Dalit candidate from a general category seat and will give tickets to more such people in the next lists for the Uttar Pradesh polls.