News18 Daybreak | BJP Releases First List of Lok Sabha Candidates and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For
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What to Watch Out For
BJP releases first list of 184 candidates, Amit Shah replaces LK Advani
The battleground is ready for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as the BJP announced its first list of candidates.
The party fielded Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency and its president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar in place of L K Advani as it announced its first list of 184 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
The Lok Sabha candidates list, released in a press conference by senior party leader JP Naddar, consists of 184 candidates including those for the key states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
List breakdown: Union Minister Smriti Irani has been re-nominated from Amethi and will take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Union minister Kiren Rijiju will fight from Arunachal West. The BJP has also re-nominated Union ministers V K Singh and Mahesh Shamra from Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), respectively.
The BJP has also finalised names of all 17 party candidates from Bihar and sent the list to the state unit which will announce it jointly with allies, Nadda said.
The list consists of 28 names for Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, 21 Karnataka, 16 Maharashtra, 16 Rajasthan, 13 Kerala, 10 Odisha, 10 Telangana, 8 Assam, 5 Tamil Nadu, 5 Chhattisgarh, 5 Jammu and Kashmir, 5 Uttarakhand, 2 Arunachal, 2 Tripura, 2 Andhra Pradesh, 1 Gujarat, 1 Sikkim, 1 Mizoram, 1 Lakshwadeep and 1 Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The Advani snub: Veteran BJP leader LK Advani was made to bow out of the electoral contest with the party fielding president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, the seat that the 91-year-old party stalwart has won six times.
This decision has sent two clear signals – one that as Advani himself did not declare himself his retirement from electoral politics means he has been made to retire, and two, the party by replacing him with Shah has appointed his political heir.
The big face-off: It will be round two of the electoral battle between the Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi with BJP announcing that it has fielded the union minister to take on the Congress chief from the Gandhi bastion again.
Irani had unsuccessfully contested against Gandhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and had lost by around 1 lakh votes, but was seen to have put up a spirited fight.
The Union Minister in an interview with News18.com slammed the Congress chief saying the “writing is on the wall for Rahul Gandhi”. Irani had earlier dubbed the fight between her and Gandhi as one between a Kaamdar and Naamdar and claimed that he has been negligent of his constituency’s needs.
Gandhi, in turn, has blamed the ruling BJP government at the centre and state for taking away the big projects that he had lined up for Amethi.
Precarious positions: Although, the list consisted names of candidates for 13 of the 14 seats in Kerala, the party chose to defer its announcement for the contentious Pathanamthitta constituency, which houses Sabarimala temple.
At the time of the row, several parties including the ruling CPM in the state took up sides either opposing or in favour of the Supreme Court verdict which strike down the temple’s band on the entry of women.
The dissenting voices were primarily seen as belonging to the BJP camp, which was read as their attempt to make a political foray in the state.
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