New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday released the 16th list of candidates from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh for upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The party has named Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh against Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Manoj Kotak from Mumbai North East, where Kirit Somaiya is the sitting MP.

The BJP has also named Dr Chandra Sen Jadun, Prem Singh Shakya, Dinesh Pratap Singh and VP Saroj from Firozabad, Mainpuri, Rae Bareli and Macchilshahr (SC) seat in Uttar Pradesh, respectively.

If reports are to be believed, the reason behind dropping Kirit Somaiya is BJP buckling under the pressure from Shiv Sena, its ally in Maharashtra. Notably, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party didn’t want the BJP to field Somaiya from the seat for upcoming general elections.

Speaking to media, Somaiya said, “Very happy that Manoj Kotak ji standing with me here has got the ticket. We all will support him and ensure he wins. Ultimately our aim is a second term for Modi ji. Responsibilities within party keep shifting, nothing new in it.”

The contest on Rae Bareli seat and Mainpuri constituency will be a keen one to watch out for. While the former is the pocketborough of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the latter was won by SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Notably, he has represented Mainpuri three times earlier- in 1996, 2004 and 2009. In 2014, he had contested from two constituencies- Azamgarh and Mainpuri and won both.

The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is scheduled to be held in seven phases. The 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh will go to polls on April 11, 18, 23, 29 and May 6, 12, 19. Meanwhile in Maharashtra, the polling will be held on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. The counting of votes across the country will be held on May 23. The results will also be announced on the same day.