The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday announced its candidates in seven more seats in Uttar Pradesh, including actor Ravi Kishan who will contest from Gorakhpur. Kishan is a big name in the Bhojpuri film industry and has also starred in Hindi movies.
Praveen Nishad, the leader of the Nishad community and the current parliamentarian from Gorakhpur, will contest from Sant Kabir Nagar. The party dropped incumbent MP Sharad Tripathi, who was involved in an ugly altercation with a party MLA in March when he beat him with his shoe.
In 2018, Nishad, supported by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, had defeated the BJP’s Upendra Shukla by almost 22,000 votes in parliamentary bye-elections in the seat. The result helped cement the alliance between the SP and the BSP, and was a blow to the saffron party as the seat had been held by Chief Minister Adityanath since 1998.
Earlier this month, Nishad quit the allliance and joined the BJP, days after the Samajwadi Party fielded Nishad community leader Ram Bhuwal Nishad from Gorakhpur.
The other candidates whose names were announced are Apna Dal leader Sangam Lal Gupta from Pratapgarh, MLA Mukut Bihari from Ambedkar Nagar, former BJP state President Ramapati Ram Tripathi from Deoria, parliamentarian KP Singh from Jaunpur and former BSP MLA Ramesh Bind from Bhadohi.
With these names, the saffron party has announced candidates for 420 Lok Sabha seats across the country.