The names, which have been cleared by the party's national parliamentary board after due deliberations with the state unit, are likely to be announced by February end. The first list of candidates includes names of BJP general secretary Varun Gandhi, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh (Etah), Ramakant Yadav (Azamgarh), Hukum Singh (Kairana), Sanjeev Baliyan (Muzaffarnagar), Dharmendra Kashyap (Aonla), Rajendra Agarwal (Meerut) and Ram Shankar Katheria from Agra.

Varun Gandhi is likely to contest from the Sultanpur parliamentary constituency. He is currently an MP from Pilibhit. Gandhi is kicking off his campaign with a rally in Sultanpur on Tuesday. Sources say that after finalizing the list of the 30 candidates, the party has now set eyes on the remaining 50 seats.

"There is no confusion and winnability is likelihood on these 30 seats. Now the focus will be on seats where we have fair chances of success and the final lists would be the tough ones," a senior BJP leader said.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is also closely monitoring the selection of candidates this time. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has called a meeting of all zonal in-charges at Varanasi on February 15.

The BJP has 10 MPs in the state in the outgoing Lok Sabha. The party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah has been appointed in-charge of the party affairs in the state with an aim to win as many as 40 seats in Uttar Pradesh.


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