Bahujan Samaj Party on Sunday released a list of 16 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections that includes the names of Afzal Ansari and Ritesh Pandey.
This is the final list of BSP candidates. The party had released the names of 11 candidates in its first list on March 22, six candidates in the second list announced on April 1 and five candidates in the third list released on April 9.
Afzal Ansari, brother of jailed don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, has been fielded from Ghazipur, the seat represented by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Union Minister of State Manoj Sinha in the Lok Sabha.
Sinha had defeated Samajwadi Party candidate by a margin of 30,000 votes in the 2014 Lok sabha election. The runner-up BSP candidate had bagged more than 2.40 lakh votes in the 2014 general elections.
The name of Ritesh Pandey, the former MLA from Jalalpur in Ambedkar Nagar district, also figures in the list. Pandey was embroiled in controversy last year after his brother, Ashish Pandey, was held for brandishing a gun outside a five-star hotel in Delhi. Pandey runs liquor business, sugar and rice mills, and real estate business, among others.
Strongman Chandrabhan Singh has been fielded from Sultanpur against BJP’s Maneka Gandhi.
BSP state president RS Kushwaha has been given ticket from Salempur seat, while Ashok Kumar Tripathi has been fielded from Pratapgarh.
The BSP has fielded Ram Shiromani Verma from Shravasti Lok Sabha seat while Aftab Alam has been fielded from Dumariyaganj in Siddharth Nagar district. Alam had contested from Gorakhpur on BSP ticket in the 2017 UP Assembly elections.
Former MP and five-time MLA from Kaptanganj Assembly seat, Ram Prasad Chaudhary, has been fielded from Basti while former BSP MLA from Sant Kabir Nagar, Bhishm Shankar alias Kushal Tiwari, has been fielded from Sant Kabir Nagar.
The BSP has fielded Vinod Kumar Jaiswal from Deoria, Sadal Prasad from Bansgaon (reserve) seat in Gorakhpur district, Sangeeta from Lalganj (reserved) constituency, Atul Rai from Ghosi, and Shyam Singh Yadav from Jaunpur.
Former MLA and engineer in chief of PWD, T Ram, has been fielded from Machhlishahr (reserved) seat and Rangnath Mishra from Bhadohi. Mishra was a minister in the previous BSP government (2007-12).
The BSP is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal. Under the seat-sharing formula, BSP is contesting on 38 seats.