PM Narendra Modi is said to contest for the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi, the seat he will represent in the parliament, and Amit Shah, BJP president is said to fight the elections from Gandhinagar in place of veteran leader LK Advani. The party announced its first list comprising of 184 candidates for the general election on Thursday.
BJP home minister Rajnath Singh and road transport and highway minister Nitik Gadkari are said to fight from Lucknow and Nagpur respectively. They are considered BJP heavyweights.
In the first list, 16 candidates are from Maharashtra, 8 from Assam, 2 from Arunachal Pradesh, 5 from Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir each, 21 from Karnataka, 13 from Kerala, 10 from Odisha, 16 from Rajasthan, 5 from Tamil Nadu, 10 from Telangana, 5 from Uttarakhand, 28 from West Bengal and 2 from Andhra Pradesh.
In Uttar Pradesh, six sitting MPs have been denied ticket, including Union minister Krishna Raj from Shahjahanpur, former Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria from Agra, and Chaudhary Babulal from Fatehpur Sikri. The BJP has also dropped former Union minister B C Khanduri from Garhwal and former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari from Nanital with Tirath Singh Rawat and Ajay Bhatt replacing them respectively.
Union ministers VK Singh, Mahesh Sharma, Kiren Rijiju, Jitendra Singh will fight from Ghaziabad, Noida, Arunachal West and Udhampur respectively. Poonam Mahajan will seek re-election from Mumbai North Central constituency.
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In Kerala, the BJP has pitted Kummanam Rajasekharan against Congress veteran Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram.
Earlier in the day, the saffron party, BJP declared candidates for the remaining six seats for the upcoming Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP achieved an absolute majority but winning 282 seats out of 543. Along with its allies, the NDA had a cumulative strength of 336. The Congress’ strength was down to 44, its worst performance in general elections.