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With less than eight months to go for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, the political temperature has started to rise in the state. The latest move comes from BJP ally NISHAD party which has proposed the name of its national president Sanjay Nishad for the deputy chief minister’s post.

Nishad, who was in Bhadohi on Tuesday to meet party workers, said his party was in a strong position on almost 160 seats.

“The party is preparing for the 2022 elections at the booth-level. We are in a strong position in almost 160 seats, there are a large number of Nishad voters. The government should fulfill the demands made for the reservation of Nishad community. The more the BJP keeps the Nishads happy, the more seats it will win.”

He added: “If BJP keeps us happy, then they will get happiness in 2022, otherwise BJP cannot be happy. Programmes will be started by our party in Uttar Pradesh. We will now start the tour and hold meetings. Our schedule was pre-decided but the central leadership of BJP had called us to meet in Delhi, due to which the program had to be postponed.”

Nishad recently met several BJP leaders in Delhi. Since then, he has been visiting various districts and meeting party workers, busy in preparations for the 2022 elections.

Reacting to the comments, UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said, “He is in discussion with the relevant people. He is our ally and he has also spoken to the national leadership. The decision will be taken by the central leadership.”

Speaking about the UP polls, Maurya said: “We will win more than 300 seats. BJP makes its preparations, we don’t care who is in front of us. The government and the organisation will fight the elections together. Our preparations are complete.” On the question of Akhilesh Yadav and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, he said that they (Akhilesh and Priyanka) “do politics on Twitter, which will achieve nothing”.

The NISHAD party had contested the 2018 Gorakhpur bypolls and won with the support of Samajwadi Party. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, it switched sides and stitched an alliance with the BJP. The NISHAD party candidate and son of Sanjay Nishad, Praveen Kumar Nishad, contested on a BJP ticket and won from Sant Kabir Nagar in 2019 elections.

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