New Delhi/Lucknow: The BJP on Friday fielded Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh, who left the Congress to join it, and Asim Arun, who recently quit the IPS, in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls as it released a list of 85 more candidates.
Both Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh are sitting MLAs from constituencies falling under Congress president Sonia Gandhi's Rae Bareli parliamentary seat. They have been fielded from their current seats of Rae Bareli and Harchandpur, respectively.
The list also includes incumbent MLA Hariom Yadav, a relative of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Hariom Yadav quit the opposition party recently and joined the BJP.
Yadav has been fielded from his current seat Sirsaganj, while Arun, a Dalit, will contest from Kannauj, a reserved seat.
In the last assembly election in 2017, out of the five assembly seats in Rae Bareli, the Congress and the BJP had won from two constituencies each while one had gone to the Samajwadi Party.
The five assembly seats of Rae Bareli –Bachrawan (SC), Harchandpur, Sareni, Unchahar and Rae Bareli –will vote in the fourth phase, while Salon (SC) will vote in the fifth phase on February 27. The BJP also announced its candidates for assembly constituencies in Lakhimpur Kheri district.
In Lakhimpur Kheri district, the BJP has repeated Shashank Verma (from Nighasan), Arvind Giri (from Gola Gokrannath), Manju Tyagi (from Srinagar), Yogesh Verma (from Lakhimpur Kheri), Saurabh Singh Sonu (from Kasta-SC), Lokendra Pratap Singh (from Mohammadi) and Harvindar Romi Sahni (from Palia).
Lakhimpur Kheri has been in the news recently after four protesting farmers were run over by vehicles. Four others, including a journalist and two BJP workers, were also killed in the violence in October last year. Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra's son Ashish Mishra has been named as an accused in the violence. The BJP has fielded Vinod Shankar Awasthi from Dhaurahra in place of Bala Prasad Awasthi, who has joined the SP.
The party has fielded Salona Kushwah from Tilhar in Shahjahanpur. Earlier, the seat was represented in the assembly by Roshan Lal Verma, who had recently joined the SP.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly Deputy Speaker Nitin Aggarwal, who had also left the SP to join the BJP, will fight from Hardoi. With the fresh list of candidates, which include 15 women, the total number of names announced by the party for the seven-phase election to the 403-member assembly has reached 195.