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BJP denies ticket to Varun
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 6
Strong pressure and resentment in the state unit forced the BJP to deny the Lok Sabha ticket to a scion of Gandhi-Nehru family Varun Gandhi from Vidisha and instead go for Minister of Public Health and Engineering Rampal Singh. The party also overlooked the claim of state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was seeking a ticket for his wife.

The BJP Central Election Committee, which met here and was attended by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, party President Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani among others, decided to give former minister Shahnawaz Hussain the ticket from Biharís Bhagalpur Lok Sabha constituency where Muslims are believed to have considerable clout.

The 27-year-old son of party MP Maneka Gandhi was believed to have the backing of both Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani, but carrying an outsider tag faced strong resentment in the state party unit, a strong reason why the central leadership decided against fielding him.

Mr Chouhan, who had vacated the seat after becoming Chief Minister in November last year, tried his luck to get the ticket for his wife which also did not find favour of the party bosses.

The committee named journalist Pranav Kumar Verma, son of former MP R.L.P. Verma, as its candidate for the Koderma Lok Sabha seat in Jharkhand, vacated by former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi after he quit the BJP.

It also decided to field Kapoor Chand from Bada Malhera Assembly constituency in MP from where rebel leader Uma Bharti had resigned and Sahdev Khake from Talsara Assembly seat in Orissa.

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