BJP fields Sushma, Rudy, Shahnawaz

BJP fields Sushma, Rudy, Shahnawaz

 The BJP on Thursday announced its third list of candidates for nine states for the April-May Lok Sabha elections.

The list of 100 candidates included prominent leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The party, however, decided to delay announcement of candidates from Uttar Pradesh owing to lack of unanimity on Varanasi and Lucknow constituencies from where Modi and president Rajnath Singh are expected to contest.

The BJP has also decided to give electoral space to children of two leaders, Yashwant Sinha and the late Pramod Mahajan. With former finance minister Sinha deciding not to contest elections, the party has given the ticket to his son Jayant Sinha to contest from his father’s Hazaribagh constituency in Jharkhand. Late Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam Mahajan has been pitched against sitting Congress MP Priya Dutt from Mumbai North-Central constituency. 

The 19-member central election committee (CEC) headed by president Rajnath Singh cleared the names of 100 candidates–Bihar (25), MP (24), Karnataka (5), Assam (6), Jharkhand (13), Kerala (14), Maharashtra (2), West Bengal (7) and Lakshwadeep (1), said BJP leader Ananth Kumar.

The CEC will meet again on Saturday and immediately after Holi to decide on the remaining candidates. Prior to the meeting, the parliamentary board decided not to merge the BSR Congress with the BJP, given strong opposition from senior leader Sushma Swaraj.

Due to electoral compulsions, the BJP has opted for a safer route by allowing BSR party founder B Sriramulu back into the saffron fold as he is not facing any case.

Party sources said that he may join the BJP on Friday and will be given the ticket to contest from Bellary. The party top brass also could not take a call on two other seats-Bidar and Hassan–both in Karnataka, due to strong differences against the proposed candidates.

The party, however, has accommodated former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s close confidante Shoba Karandlaje from Udupi-Chikmagalur and Basavaraju from Tumkur.

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