Modi to Contest From Varanasi, Amit Shah From Gandhinagar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi, which is his current parliamentary constituency, while BJP party President Amit Shah will contest elections from Gandhinagar, Central Election Committee (CEC) Secretary JP Nadda announced on Thursday, 21 March.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Nadda announced the candidature of 184 candidates. Nadda also said that the party has finalised names of all 17 party candidates from Bihar, which will be announced in the state jointly with allies.
Among other heavyweights, Rajnath Singh will contest from his current constituency Lucknow, Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur and Smriti Irani from Amethi.
Here is the full list of candidates announced on Thursday:
Interestingly, Shah’s candidature has been announced from the capital city of Gujarat, where senior leader Lal Krishna Advani is the sitting MP. Advani’s name was not announced in the first list.
Reacting to the development, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala took a dig at the BJP and PM Modi. He said Advani was first made a part of ‘Margdarshak Mandal’ and has now been stripped off his constituency.
Union ministers VK Singh, Mahesh Sharma will fight from Ghaziabad and Noida, respectively, while Kiren Rijiju and Jitendra Singh will fight the Lok Sabha polls from Arunachal East and Udhampur, respectively
The CEC had met thrice in the last few days, with reports suggesting that discussions were held on seats in 10 states including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Odisha in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.
Among those attending were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
Speaking about the meeting on Tuesday, Karnataka BJP leader Jagadish Shettar told ANI, “Discussions were held on all 28 seats (in Karnataka). They have taken feedback from us, we've told them the situation in all constituencies. Decision is left with the Parliamentary Board.”
On Tuesday, the party had announced that it will drop all its 10 incumbent MPs from Chhattisgarh and replace them with new faces, a decision that comes in the wake of the party’s drubbing in the recent Assembly elections.
Former chief minister Raman Singh is likely to be the party's candidate from Rajnandgaon, sources said.
The committee had also met on 16 March, following which it released a list of 123 candidates for Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections and 54 candidates for Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections a day later.