Lok Sabha polls: A look at BJP heavyweights named in the first candidates#39; list

1 month ago

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were among the BJP leaders named in the first list of 195 candidates

March 02, 2024 / 11:10 PM IST

PM Modi will contest again from Varanasi, whereas, HM Shah will defend his Gandhinagar seat

PM Modi will contest again from Varanasi, whereas, HM Shah will defend his Gandhinagar seat

The first list of 195 Lok Sabha candidates released by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) includes some of its top faces, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, among others.

Modi will be contesting again from Varanasi, after having won the seat consecutively in the last two general elections. Similarly, Shah has been fielded from Gandhinagar from where he won in 2019, and Rajnath will also contest from his home constituency of Lucknow.

Other party heavyweights in the first list include Smriti Irani, who eroded the Gandhi family bastion of Amethi in the last Lok Sabha polls, defeating the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Bhupendra Yadav, another senior BJP leader and key strategist, has been fielded from Alwar in Rajasthan.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose BJP switch in mid-2020 led to the downfall of the then Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, has been fielded from the state's Guna constituency. He is currently a Rajya Sabha MP.

Arjun Ram Meghwal, the Union law minister, has been named as the candidate from Bikaner, whereas, Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will fight from his home constituency of Jodhpur. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also featured in the first BJP list, as the party has retained him as the candidate from Kota.

Union MoS for science and tech, Jitendra Singh, will contest from Jammu, whereas, shipping and waterways minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been fielded from Assam's Dibrugarh.

The release of the BJP's first list comes ahead of the announcement of poll dates by the Election Commission. The Opposition INDIA bloc, led by the Congress, is yet to finalise the seat-sharing strategy in several states.

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