New Delhi [India], Mar 21 (ANI): The BJP on Thursday evening declared 184 candidates including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, beginning April 11 and concluding on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek re-election from Varanasi, the seat which he won with a huge margin of votes in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, while BJP president Shah will try his luck from Gandhinagar, currently held by party veteran and former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will seek election from Nagpur, while Home Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow. Actor Hema Malini has been able to get re-fielded from Mathura Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. Union Minister Smriti Irani will contest from Amethi, the seat currently held by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Talking to media persons after the meeting of Central Election Committee (CEC) here, Union Minister JP Nadda said: “Subhash Bhamre will contest from Dhule, Hansraj Ahir from Chandrapur, both ministers, and Poonam Mahajan from Mumbai North Central.” Mahajan is the daughter of late BJP heavyweight Pramod Mahajan.
Nadda said that Khalid Jehangir will contest from Srinagar, Jugal Kishore from Jammu, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh from Udhampur, and Sofi Yousuf from Anantnag, all seats in Jammu and Kashmir. Union Minister VK Singh will contest from Ghaziabad, and Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
In West Bengal, Union Minister Babul Supriyo will contest from Asansol, Dilip Ghosh from Medinipur, Rahul Sinha from Kolkata North, CK Bose from Kolkata South, Anupam Hazra from Jadavpur, Tapan Roy from Arambag, Sayantan Basu from Basirhat, Jayanta Ray from Jalpaiguri, Sukanta Majumdar from Balurghat, and Nisith Pramanik from Cooch Behar.
“In Kerala, Kummanam Rajasekharan will contest from Thiruvananthapuram and Union Minister KJ Alphons from Ernakulam,” Nadda said.
In Karnataka, Ananthkumar Hegde will contest from North Kannada, DV Sadananda Gowda from Bangalore North, B Y Raghavendra from Shimoga, and Prathap Sinha from Mysore.
In Odisha, Baijayant Jay Panda will contest from Kendrapara, Aparajita Sarangi, former IAS officer, from Bhubaneswar, Rudra Narayan Pany from Dhenkanal, Pratap Sarangi from Balasore, and Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo from Balangir.
In Uttar Pradesh, Rajveer Singh (Raju Bhaiya) will contest from Etah, Santosh Kumar Gangwar from Bareilly, Satyapal Singh from Baghpat, Rajendra Agrawal from Meerut, Parmeshwar Lal Saini from Sambhal, and Raghav Lakhanpal from Saharanpur.
In Tamil Nadu, the state unit party president Tamilisai Soundarajan will contest from Thoothukkudi and Dr Pon Radhakrishnan from Kanyakumari.
“Kiren Rijiju will contest from Arunachal West, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Jaipur, Arjun Ram Meghwal from Bikaner (SC), Ramesh Pokhriyal from Haridwar, Tirath Singh Rawat from Garhwal, and Ajay Bhatt from Nainital,” said Nadda.
Celebrations erupted in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and other parts of the country from where the BJP announced its candidates for the ensuing polls. There was a massive celebration in Gandhinagar where the party workers burst crackers to express happiness over the party’s decision to field Shah from there.
Many leaders while responding to the party’s decision to re-field them from their respective seats said that they would leave nothing unturned to ensure victory for the party.
Union Minister Gadkari said told ANI: “The party has expressed its faith in me. I will win with a bigger margin this time. People of Nagpur supported me last time as well. They are happy with our work. We will do even better after getting elected again.”
Reacting to the party’s decision to field her from Bhubneswar, Aparajita Sarangi, former IAS officer, said that she would work hard for the development of the city and its people. She said that the people of this city have always given lot of love, affection and respect to her.
Hema Malini said: “People wanted me to contest from here again. I am thankful to Amit Shah Ji and Modi Ji for choosing me again. I will work hard and bring development to the area. I am not like other politicians. People here like my works.”