New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his two deputies, Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, will contest legislative council by-elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced on Wednesday.

A BJP statement said its central election committee had also picked Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza, both ministers in the state government, as party candidates for the elections. With Uttar Pradesh members of legislative assembly (MLAs) voting in the by-elections, the win of all BJP nominees is virtually certain given the party’s huge majority in the assembly.

A number of members of legislative council (MLCs) from opposition parties in the state, who resigned recently, also spoke in favour of the Adityanath government.

Political watchers believe they did so to facilitate the entry of the chief minister and his colleagues to the council. Adityanath and his colleagues have to be elected to one of the houses, assembly or council, to continue in their posts.

Adityanath and Maurya are Lok Sabha members and are likely to resign once they win the council bypolls.