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Sushma from Vidisha, but rift on over other LS seats

Sushma from Vidisha, but  rift on over other LS seats
The other important names in the list are rebel RJD leader Ram Kripal Yadav, who is going to contest from Patliputra seat on behalf of BJP. Sitting MP Kiriti Jha Azad and Rajiv Pratap Rudy are going to contest from Darbhanga and Saran seats respectively in Bihar.

The party has, however, failed to release the list of candidates from Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar said: ‘We are having deliberation on ticket distribution and the party will release names of candidates from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and others on March 15.’

Since the last few weeks there are rifts among senior party leaders over various seats in Uttar Pradesh. Recently, BJP leader Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi refused to give up the Varanasi seat for party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. He reportedly had an argument with party president Rajnath Singh, which was backed by Sushma Swaraj, who spoke in favour of Joshi. The situation was later brought under control after the intervention of LK Advani.

Also, there are speculations that the party president is not willing to contest from Ghaziabad as he fears defeat. There are reports that he wanted to contest from Lucknow constituency, which angered sitting MP Lalji Tandon.

So far the BJP has announced a total of 204 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which is scheduled to be held between 7 April and 12 May. Earlier, on 27 February, the party has announced the names of 54 candidates and on 8 March it has announced names of 52 candidates. On Thursday, the BJP released its third list of 97 candidates. In the first week of March, the party announced the name of a candidate from Maharashtra.

The central election committee of the BJP met under the presidentship of Rajnath Singh and decided the names. The meeting was attended by Narandra Modi, L K Advani, Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and all the members of the central election committee of the BJP.

Interestingly, the BJP did not finalise the name of the candidate from Bellary after BJP leader Sushma Swaraj expressed her anger on 6 March opposing the merger with the BSR Congress, a party floated by an aide of the Reddy brothers of Bellary who are involved in the mining scam.
Then two Reddy brothers, Somasekhara Reddy and G Janardhan Reddy, had quit the BJP after their arrest in the mining scam.

Sushma had tweeted, ‘I am opposed to the BSR alliance or merger with BJP in Karnataka...I have conveyed to (party president) Rajnath Singh in writing that BJP must not permit this.’

Twenty four names have been cleared from Madhya Pradesh, which includes state president Narendra Singh Tomar who is going to contest from Gwalior and Faggan Singh Kulaste from Mandla.
The BJP has also announced 25 candidates from Bihar, 13 from Jharkhand including Jayant Sinha, son of former finance minister Yashwant Sinha from Hazaribagh. The former finance minister had earlier expressed his unwillingness to contest the election.

Thursday’s list also includes 19 candidates from Kerala, six from Assam, five from Karnataka, seven from West Bengal, two from Maharashtra and one from Lakshadweep. In West Bengal, S S Ahluwalia, former MP, will contest from Darjeeling seat against footballer and Trinamool Congress candidate Baichung Bhutia.

The list did not have the names of senior party leaders like LK Advani, Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti, Arun Jaitley and Murli Manohar Joshi.

Late BJP strategist Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam Mahajan will take on Congress’ Priya Dutt from Mumbai North Central constituency.
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