×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Several big names missing from BJP’s first list for Lok Sabha polls

In Delhi, the party fielded trade union leader Praveen Khandelwal in Chandni Chowk (held by former union minister Harsh Vardhan), Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj from New Delhi instead of Lekhi, Kamaljeet Sehrawat from West Delhi in Verma’s place, and Ramvir Singh Vidhuri from South Delhi, instead of Bidhuri.
Last Updated 02 March 2024, 23:59 IST

New Delhi: Some of the glaring names who did not find mention in the BJP’s first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha include West MP Delhi Pravesh Varma son of former state CM Sahib Singh Verma, former union minister and Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha, Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, and South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhuri who was accused of mouthing communal slurs in the floor of Parliament. Some key omissions also include union ministers Meenakshi Lekhi, John Barla and Rameshwar Teli.

Sources said that of the 195 seats that the BJP announced candidates in, it had an MP in over 150 seats. More than 30 seats in the list are part of the 160 seats that the party had identified as weak a year ago – seats where it had either not contested or not won before.

In states like Delhi and Assam, the BJP has opted for an overhaul, choosing to change the names of the majority of its candidates. In Delhi, the party fielded trade union leader Praveen Khandelwal in Chandni Chowk (held by former union minister Harsh Vardhan), Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj from New Delhi instead of Lekhi, Kamaljeet Sehrawat from West Delhi in Verma’s place, and Ramvir Singh Vidhuri from South Delhi, instead of Bidhuri. The BJP has also included several new faces. In Assam, for instance, among the 11 names that the party had announced, as many as eight were new names.

In anticipation of the list, earlier in the day, lawmakers Jayant Sinha and Gautam Gambhir announced on X that they have requested party chief JP Nadda to relieve them of electoral or political duties. Cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir (42) wanted Nadda to relieve him from “political duties” to focus on the cricket commitments while Sinha (60), a former Minister of State, wanted to be relieved of “electoral duties” to concentrate on combating global climate change.

Their announcements on ‘X’ was seen as an honourable exit dictated by the party, which is planning to field new faces to beat anti-incumbency in the Lok Sabha elections, a strategy it used in previous polls to some degree of success in states.

Some of the new names that have found mention are Brij Mohan Agarwal, currently a minister in Chhattisgarh government who is fielded from Raipur, and Geeta Koda who is the wife of former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda from Singhbhum. Koda had just joined the BJP a few days ago.

Congress leader AK Anthony’s son Anil Antony has been fielded from Pathanamthitta, and Uma Bharti’s nephew Rahul Lodhi is fielded from Damoh, whose former MP Prahlad patel is now part of the state government. Ayodhya Temple Trustee and former Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra’s son Saket Mishra has been nominated from Shrawasti in UP, and BSP MP Ritesh Pandey who had just joined the BJP is fielded from Ambedkar Nagar in UP. In West Bengal’s Asansol, the party has fielded Bhojpuri Film actor and singer Pawan Singh.

ADVERTISEMENT
(Published 02 March 2024, 23:59 IST)

Follow us on

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT