M A I N   N E W S

83 sitting MPs in BJP’s first list
Kalyan Singh, Vinod Khanna, Shanta Kumar to contest
S Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
The BJP today released the first list of 136 candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections that includes Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and nearly two dozen union ministers, including Vinod Khanna.

Mr Vajpayee will be seeking re-election for the fifth time from Lucknow and Mr Advani will contest for the fourth consecutive time from Gandhinagar (Gujarat).

In the list of 136 candidates, cleared after a day long deliberations of the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) chaired by BJP President Venkaiah Naidu at the Prime Minister’s residence, 83 sitting MPs have been renominated.

Significantly, the BJP also decided to field candidates in all the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir, in which Union Minister Chaman Lal Gupta has been renominated from Udhampur constituency.

The party today cleared candidates names for 54 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 21 seats in Maharashtra, 9 seats in Chhattisgarh, 8 seats in Orissa, 6 each from Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, 5 in Gujarat, 4 from Bihar, 3 each from Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, two each from Goa and Uttaranchal and one each from Punjab, Chandigarh, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar.

In Punjab, where the BJP will contest three seats, the party has cleared only the name of Union Minister and sitting MP Vinod Khanna for the Gurdaspur seat and deferred the decision on Amritsar and Hoshiarpur.

In Himachal Pradesh, the party renominated former Union Minister Shanta Kumar from Kangra and sitting MPs Suresh Chandel (Hamirpur) and Maheshwar Singh (Mandi). The party is understood to have not yet found a right candidate for the Shimla constituency. With the renomination of Mr Chandel from Hamirpur, the party has put to rest speculation about former state Chief Minister P K Dhumal contesting from the constituency.

From Chandigarh, former MP and prominent lawyer Satya Pal Jain has been given the ticket. The Chandigarh seat is presently held by the Congress.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the party has decided to field Iftikar Sadiq from Srinagar, Soufi Yusuf from Anantnag, Mohammad Akbar Khan from Baramullah, Sonam Paljor from Ladakh and Nirmal Singh from Jammu.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who had returned to the BJP fold last month, will contest for the Bulandshahar seat in Uttar Pradesh.

Former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who joined the party recently along with her Son Varun Gandhi, has been fielded from her home constituency Pilibhit (UP).

Union Human Resources Development Minister Murali Manohar Joshi, who is in the eye of a storm on the IIM fee cut controversy, will seek re-election from Allahabad and BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit chief Vinay Katiyar will contest from the Kheri constituency instead of Faizabad.

Lalitha Kumaramangalam, sister of former union minister late Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, will be contesting from the lone seat in Pondicherry, while Bishnu Pada Ray, sitting MP has been renominated to the lone Andaman and Nicobar Lok Sabha seat.

Vidya Charan Shukla, who merged his Rashtriya Jantantrik Dal with the BJP only yesterday, has been nominated from Mahasamund in Chhattisgarh.

In Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP is desparate to increase its tally from the present 25 seats, has failed to deny tickets to its sitting MPs, barring one, fearing rebellion.

The lone sitting MP denied ticket from Uttar Pradesh is Chhatarpal Singh from Bulandshahr, who has been replaced by Mr Kalyan Singh.

In Uttar Pradesh, besides Mr Katiyar, the constituency of sitting MP Braj Bhushan Singh has also been changed from Gonda to Balrampur.

Law and Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley, Agriculture Minister Rajnath Singh, party General Secretaries Pramod Mahajan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi besides party incharge for UP Kalraj Mishra, all Rajya Sabha members, are not contesting and will be concentrating on poll campaign.

Other prominent leaders whose names figure in the list include Minister of State for Home Affairs Swami Chinmayanand (Jaunpur, UP), Santosh Gangwar, (Bareilly, UP), Ashok Pradhan (Khurja, UP), Union Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain (Kishanganj, Bihar), Rajiv Pratap Rudi (Chhapra, Bihar), Hukumdev Narain Yadav (Madhubani, Bihar) C P Thakur (Patna, Bihar), Maj Gen B C Khanduri (Garhwal, Uttaranchal), Bachhi Singh Rawat (Almora, Uttaranchal) and Satya Narain Jatia (Ujjain, MP).

In Delhi, the party renominated six of the seven sitting MPs, Mr Jagmohan (New Delhi), Vijay Kumar Malhotra (South Delhi), Sahib Singh Verma (Outer Delhi), Lal Bihari Tiwari (East Delhi) and Vijay Goel (shifted from Chandni Chowk to Sadar), Anita Arya (Karol Bagh). With Mr Goel shifting to Sadar constituency vacated by Madan Lal Khurana after he was appointed Governor of Rajasthan, the party is now on the lookout for a candidate for Chandni Chowk.


BJP not to field Judeo
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 14
The BJP today decided not to field its Chhattisgarh leader and former Union Minister Dilip Singh Judeo, tainted in the “cash-on-camera scam”, in the coming Lok Sabha poll.

Mr Judeo, who quit as Union Minister ahead of the recent Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh in the wake of the scam, was to contest from Mahasamund Lok Sabha seat in the state.

The party has now given that seat to Mr Vidya Charan Shukla, who merged his short-lived Rashtriya Jantantrik Dal with the BJP yesterday.

Party general secretary Pramod Mahajan, who released the BJP’s first list of candidates for the coming poll here, however, maintained that Mr Judeo himself told the party high command that he does not want to contest elections this time.Back

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