'Damage control': In first list, BJP gives tickets to 44 OBC candidates in UP

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS): In an attempt to control the damage caused by exodus of leaders like Swami Prasad Maurya and others, the BJP has given majority representation to the OBCs in its first list of candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

Of 107 candidates announced on Saturday, 44 comes from OBC communities.

Several OBC leaders including Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan, Dharam Singh Saini and others resigned from BJP in the last few days.

A saffron party leader said that extent of damage caused by exit of Swami Prasad Maurya and other OBC leaders is still to be accessed but the list shows that the party tried to keep the backward communities in good faith by giving almost half of the tickets to OBC candidates in the first list.

"Polls results will show the real impact of the recent exodus led by Maurya but the leadership realised the importance of OBC communities. To win their support, the bulk share of tickets in the first list went to them," he said.

The OBC plays an important and decisive role in Uttar Pradesh politics and constitutes over 50 per cent of the total electorate of the state. While the non-Yadav OBCs constitute around 35 per cent of the state's total electorate.

The BJP is eyeing to win the election for a second consecutive term with the support of non-Yadav OBC communities which supported them earlier in 2017 assembly polls and last two Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and 2019.

A BJP leader claims that by giving majority shares to OBC candidates in the first list the party has tried to send a positive message to the backward communities.

"Political rivals misled the communities by saying that BJP uses OBCs' votes only to come to power and then ignores them. By giving 44 out of 107 tickets to OBCs, the party has shown that the it is with them. Earlier, a strong message was sent to the communities when 27 ministers belonging to backward classes were inducted in the union cabinet in July last year," he said.

The state assembly polls will be held in seven phases in February-March starting from February 10. Counting of votes will be held on March 10.



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Title: 'Damage control': In first list, BJP gives tickets to 44 OBC candidates in UP

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