BJP drops Raman's son, S S Ahluwalia from LS list
New Delhi: The BJP dropped Avishek Singh, son of former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat. The Central Election Committee of the party released its 7th list on Sunday, where BJP senior leader in the state Santosh Pandey's name has been finalised from the constituency by the top brass. Earlier, Union Minister of State for Steel Vishnudeo Sai, who had won four times (1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014) from Raigarh seat, has also been denied ticket this time.
In the last week, the party high-command decided that all 10 incumbent LS MPs will not be repeated this time. After Singh, the party also dropped Nanabhau Falgunrao Patole from Bhandara–Gondiya LS constituency and fielded Sunil Baburao Mendhe. BJP has dropped a total of seven sitting lawmakers in Maharashtra so far.
One candidate for Telangana and one for Meghalaya have also been announced in the 7th list. The saffron party has announced 305 candidates so far for the first two phases of the impending general elections scheduled to start from April 11, 2019. Among them, more than 30 per cent are new entries.
In Jharkhand, the party is contesting 13 of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies, where the party has announced candidates for 10 Lok Sabha constituencies. Significantly, the eight-time MP Kariya Munda has been replaced with former chief minister Arjun Munda from the Khunti (ST) seat. Munda was chief minister thrice and had won the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Jamshedpur. He hails from Saraikela-Kharsawan district.
The BJP is facing major resentment in neighbouring West Bengal and Odisha over the ticket distribution to outsiders. Major protests by the party activists have been reported and party offices have been vandalized.
In West Bengal, Union Minister and Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia has also been dropped this time. Gorkha National Liberation Front and Bimal Gurung's faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha announced Raju Bista as the candidate on Sunday. However, an official confirmation is yet to come from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Meanwhile, BJP state vice-president Raj Kamal Pathak submitted his resignation after he was denied a party ticket. In Odisha, the angry party workers reportedly vandalised state BJP headquarters in Bhubaneswar. In Bihar, disgruntled BJP leader and MP, Shatrughan Sinha has been dropped from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat and has been replaced by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.