BJP''s first list out; Modi to contest from Varanasi, Shah Gandhinagar

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Thursday fielded Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency and its president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar in place of LK Advani as it announced its first list of 184 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.

BJP''s first list out; Modi to contest from Varanasi, Shah Gandhinagar

File photo of PM Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and veteran leader LK Advani.. File photo

gspannu7@gmail.com

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21

The BJP on Thursday fielded Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency and its president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar in place of LK Advani as it announced its first list of 184 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will again be contesting from Varanasi. Party chief Amit Shah will, however, replace veteran leader and member of the margdarshak committee LK Advani in Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Read: BJP's first list of candidates 

The BJP announced candidates from 20 states and so far it seems that quite a few candidates from Uttar Pradesh have been retained. 

The 91-year-old, Advani, has won Gandhinagar for five consecutive terms. It is unlikely that Advani will be fielded from some other constituency. This also means curtains for the senior leader who had a long and distinguished career, leading the BJP from a party of two members to the centre stage.

As per BJP leaders, there could not be a better way out for Advani, being replaced by none other than Amit Shah.

It is surprising though that Shah, who BJP leaders earlier said was going to remain the backroom strategist, will be contesting the Lok Sabha for the first time.

Senior party leader JP Nadda told a press conference that the party also decided to field Home Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow and another Union Minister Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur. Both leaders had won from these seats in the last general election.
 
Union Minister Smriti Irani has been re-nominated from Amethi and will take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
 
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju will fight from Arunachal East.
 
The BJP has also re-nominated Union Ministers VK Singh and Mahesh Shamra from Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), respectively.
 
The BJP announced its candidates from many states, including Uttar Prdesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.
 
The BJP has finalised names of all 17 party candidates from Bihar and sent the list to the state unit which will announce it jointly with allies, Nadda said.

In Uttar Pradesh, Sakshi Maharaj will contest from Unnao and Sanjeev Balyan from Muzaffarnagar.

In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP announced candidates for the five Lok Sabha seats. Khalid Jahangir will contest from Srinagar while Jugal Kishore Sharma has been given ticket from Jammu. Dr Jitendra Singh will contest from Udhampur and from Baramulla MM War will be the party candidate. In Anantnag, Sofi Youssaf has been given the ticket. 

Newly-inducted BJD member Jay Panda will contest from Kendrapada.

In Bikaner, Union Minister Arjun Meghwal will contest and from Jaipur Rural Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Dushyant Singh from Jhalawar.

Nadda said the states were discussed one by one in three meetings.

In a surprising move the BJP chose today evening to announce the names. Sources say that apart from the fact that time was running out for the first two phases, the BJP appears to have also taken other considerations, perhaps astrological, while choosing the day and date to announce the first list.

The BJP conducted surveys at the grassroots to decide the names of candidates to determine winnability factor of each and every candidate.

The winnability factor was determined  on the basis of feedback on their response to the various central schemes, personal popularity and caste combinations.

Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and continue for over a month till May 19 across seven phases, followed by counting of votes on May 23.

The polling will be held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19 for 543 Lok Sabha seats across the country in which nearly 90 crore voters would be eligible to vote. 

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