Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) election committee today.

This comes ahead of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, slated to be conducted from February 10.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, both of whom have tested positive for COVID, also joined the meeting virtually.

Home Minister Amit Shah and several other leaders besides those from Uttar Pradesh, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, met physically. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also scheduled to join the meeting virtually, according to news agency PTI.

Also Read: UP elections 2022: OBC leader Mukesh Verma 7th BJP MLA to quit in 2 days

The BJP’s Central Election Committee met to finalise the party’s candidates for the seats, and is only the first in multiple meetings expected to take place in the run-up to the state elections.

Specific meetings will also be held for other states going to polls next month, including Punjab Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand. 

The party is also expected to take a call on whether Adityanath will contest the elections. The Uttar Pradesh CM has never contested Assembly elections in the past. 

According to sources, this decision would be fuelled with the aim to build the party’s Hindutva brand and to rectify the negative publicity it has received after several of its MLAs quit, the most recent being Mukesh Verma.

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Verma on Thursday became the seventh lawmaker to quit Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party in two days. An OBC (Other Backwards Class) leader from Shikohabad in UP’s Firozabad district, he backed senior leader Swami Prasad Maurya’s decision to leave the party and said many more will join them in the exodus.  

Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases starting from February 10. Results will be declared on March 10.