BJP announces by-poll candidates

New Delhi: The BJP today announced its candidates for the Lok Sabha by-elections next month, choosing seasoned organisational leader Upendra Shukla for Gorakhpur and former Varanasi mayor Kaushalendra Singh Patel for Phulpur.

The two seats in Uttar Pradesh fell vacant after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya resigned from the Lok Sabha following their appointments last year.

The choice of Shukla is seen as an outreach by the party to Brahmins, who are the largest upper caste community in the state and have been its traditional supporters.

The party also announced its candidates in Bihar, naming Pradeep Singh as its nominee for the Araria Lok Sabha by-poll and Rinki Pandey for the Bhabua assembly by-election. Singh, a former Araria MP, had lost to RJD’s Taslimuddin in 2014. The by-elections are scheduled to be held on March 11.