Live updates from the 2022 Assembly elections: The NCP announced its decision on Thursday to fight the UP polls with the Samajwadi party. “We decided to participate in the elections with the Samajwadi party in Uttar Pradesh. One seat has been announced and talks are underway for other seats. We will support the alliance that is forming within the UP,” NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said.
In another blow to the BJP, the Minister of State of Uttar Pradesh (Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration) Dharam Singh Saini resigned from the party, becoming the third cabinet minister to do so before the National Assembly elections. Citing “gross neglect” of Dalits, backward classes, farmers, educated unemployed youths and petty traders by the state government as the reason for his decision, Saini met with Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav in the ‘afternoon.
Ahead of the elections in Uttar Pradesh, which will be held in seven phases starting Feb. 10, a total of eight BJP MPs have quit so far.
Earlier in the day, BJP MPs Mukesh Verma and Vinay Shakya quit the party. “Swami Prasad Maurya is the voice of the oppressed and he is our leader. I am with him,” Shakya wrote in his resignation letter to the party. Verma, in his resignation letter, also said he would support any decision Maurya made. “Swami Prasad Maurya is our leader. We will support any decision he makes. Many other leaders will join us in the coming days,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP’s Central Election Committee met on Thursday and finalized its candidates for 172 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh. The party is expected to field both Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who are currently members of the Legislative Council, party leaders said after the meeting. According to party sources consulted by the PTI news agency, Adityanath is likely to be aligned from Ayodhya while Maurya will contest from Sirathu constituency.
In addition, Congress Secretary General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has announced the name of the mother of the 2017 rape victim of Unnao as the Congress candidate for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. The party published an initial list of 125 candidates, including 50 women.
Separately, the Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday refused to postpone the upcoming assembly elections in the state, as it observed that postponing polls was not its job, according to Bar and Bench.
Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa will go to the polls in a single phase on February 14 while Manipur will see the vote in two phases on February 27 and March 3. Uttar Pradesh will vote in seven phases to elect 403 MPs from February 10 to March 7. the counting will take place on March 10.