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BJP likely to contest 74 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, sparing six for NDA allies

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LUCKNOW: Given its political significance in the country, Uttar Pradesh, which sends a maximum number of MPs to the lower house of Parliament, is an obvious focus of discussion by any national party when it comes to the table for ticket distribution before going to hustings.

So was UP in the marathon meeting of BJP's Central Election Committee in New Delhi on Thursday as the saffron brigade is depending hugely upon the state meet PM Modi's target of 400 seats by accomplishing ‘Mission 80’, in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

This time, with an expanded NDA in the state, the BJP faces the challenge of firming up the alliances with respectable distribution of seats among the allies—Anupriya Patel-led Apna Dal (S), Jayant Chaudhury-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), OP Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and Sanjay Nishad led NISHAD Party.

According to highly-placed sources, the BJP, after the marathon meeting of its Parliamentary party in New Delhi on Thursday, has decided to keep 74 seats for itself in UP sparing the rest six for the allies.

Sources also claimed that the BJP may allocate two seats each to Apna Dal(Sonelal) and RLD, and one seat each to SBSP and NISHAD party. Although Apna Dal (S) has been demanding five seats this time. The ruling party would spare two for it.

In 2019, Anupriya Patel, who is a minister of state in Modi government, was given two seats of Mirzapur and Sonbhadra. In 2014, she was allocated Pratapgarh and Mirzapur.

Anupriya, the younger daughter of popular Kurmi leader Sonelal Patel, has been contesting and winning from Mirzapur for the last two elections. She's expected to secure the same seat for 2024 and will secure one more seat in the eastern UP belt.

Jayant Chaudhury-led RLD, which switched over to NDA relinquishing INDIA, recently, is also likely to get two seats of western UP—Baghpat and Bijnor—besides fulfilment of other conditions of alliance including a ministerial berth to the party MLA in Yogi cabinet and Rajya Sabha membership to an RLD leader.

Similarly, OP Rajbhar-led SBSP, which rejoined the NDA last year after contesting 2022 assembly polls the SP, is likely to get Ghosi seat in eastern UP. SBSP, which had opened its account in UP Assembly in 2017 when it contested in alliance with the BJP, has been demanding three eastern UP seats -- Ghosi, Ghazipur and Salempur – all having a respectable chunk of Rajbhar community.

In the given scenario, the BJP is likely to contest lesser seats than 2019 and 2014 when it had contested on 78 seats leaving two for its ally Apna Dal (S).

In 2019, the BJP had won 64 of 80 seats when the conventional foes—SP and BSP—had turned friends by stitching a grand alliance taking RLD along. The alliance together could win just 15 seats—10 BSP and five SP and RLD had failed to open account.

In a major jolt was served to the Congress which lost its bastion of Amethi to the BJP and was relegated to Rae Bareli.

Even in 2014, the BJP had registered the historical victory by bagging 73 of 80 seats. While main opposition Samajwadi party had won just five including two of Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Congress had shrunk to Rae Bareli and Amethi.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

52 Days ago