The BJP's first list of 28 candidates for Uttar Pradesh appears to be an attempt to get caste equations right in the Jat-dominated western region of the state.
The saffron party, which has denied tickets to six sitting MPs, including a Union minister, has taken care of caste equations by fielding candidates from Jat, Rajput, Vaisya and OBC communities in constituencies, where they are in sizable numbers.
The BJP has renominated former Union minister and Jat leader Sanjiv Baliyan from the Muzaffarnagar seat and would take on Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president and SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate Ajeet Singh.
The Congress has decided not to field its nominee in Muzaffarnagar making it a direct contest between the grand alliance and the saffron party.
Apparently eyeing the Rajput vote bank, the BJP has renominated Satish Gautam from Aligarh, Kunwar Sarvesh Singh from Moradabad, Kunwar Bhartendu from Bijnore and V K Singh from Ghaziabad seats.
Realising that Saini and Gujjar (both OBCs) voters were quite sizable in several Lok Sabha seats in the region, the saffron party has fielded Kanwar Singh Tanwar (a Gujjar) from Amroha, Parmeshwar Saini from Sambhal and Samghamitra Maurya from Badayun seats.
"It is going to be a tough election...we know that...we can not take any chances...we have to take care of the caste equation," remarked a senior Uttar Pradesh BJP leader here, when queried in this regard.
Sources, however, said that denial of nominations to some sitting MPs has not gone down well with a section of party workers. The supporters of former Union minister Ram Shankar Katheria, who was dropped, were not happy over the denial of ticket to him.
Similarly, Chaudhary Babulal, who was denied renomination from Fatehpur Sikri, is also upset. Sources said that the Kurmi community members were upset over the denial of renomination to Anshul Verma from the Hardoi seat.
In Moradabad, BJP workers demonstrated before the party office in protest against the nomination of Sarvesh Singh.