The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday released its first list of 184 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections that begin next month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest the polls from Varanasi, which he represents in the current Lok Sabha, the party said. BJP National President Amit Shah will contest from Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar, which is represented by senior party leader LK Advani.
Shah was elected to the Rajya Sabha in August 2017. His term ends in 2023. This is the first time Shah will contest for the Lok Sabha.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is a candidate for the Lucknow seat, while Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari will contest from Nagpur. Union minister VK Singh will be a candidate for the Ghaziabad constituency.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani will be a candidate from Amethi. Amethi is the home constituency of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. Irani had contested against Gandhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but was unsuccessful.
The BJP has also finalised candidates for the 17 Lok Sabha seats it will contest in Bihar, but the names will be announced later, along with its allies.
Two Odisha leaders who are on the BJP’s list of candidates had moved to the party from the Biju Janata Dal earlier this month. Baijayant Panda, who has also been made the BJP’s national vice president, will contest from Kendrapara, the seat he represented as a BJD MP. Balabhadra Majhi will also contest from his Nabarangpur constituency.
Sujay Patil, the son of Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, is the BJP’s candidate from Ahmednagar constituency in Maharashtra. He had joined the BJP last week.
Kummanam Rajasekharan, who resigned as the governor of Mizoram earlier this month, will contest the polls from Thiruvananthapuram, the BJP said. Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal will be a candidate from Bikaner, and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore will contest from Jaipur.
Union Minister of State for the Northeast, Jitendra Singh, will contest from Udhampur. Sofi Yousuf will be the BJP’s candidate from Anantnag constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, and Khalid Jehangir from Srinagar.
The 2019 General Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, and the results will be announced on May 23. The last date for filing nominations for the first phase of elections is March 25.
Earlier on Thursday, the BJP released a list of six candidates for the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly polls, and 11 for Sikkim. The elections will be held concurrently with the Lok Sabha polls.