In a move that underscores the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the party has revealed an additional list of 111 candidates. This announcement comes amidst significant changes in candidate selection, including the omission of some prominent names and the inclusion of several unconventional choices.

Bold Choices and Omissions

The latest list of BJP candidates showcases bold choices and significant omissions. Notably, actors Kangana Ranaut and Arun Govil have been nominated, reflecting the party’s effort to bring in candidates with mass appeal. However, the exclusion of union ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey and V K Singh, along with MP Varun Gandhi, has raised eyebrows.

Key Nominations and Denials

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be contesting from the Sambalpur seat, while the party’s spokesperson, Sambit Patra, aims for Puri. However, former Union minister Anantkumar Hegde, known for his staunch Hindutva stance, has been denied a ticket.

Denial of Tickets to Incumbents

Approximately 37 sitting Members of Parliament have been denied tickets in this round of nominations. This includes nine from Uttar Pradesh, five from Gujarat, four from Odisha, and three each from Bihar, Karnataka, and Jharkhand.

Influx of New Entrants

Several leaders who recently joined the BJP have found a place in the candidate list. Industrialist Naveen Jindal and Varaprasad Rao, who joined the party shortly before the announcement, have been nominated. Additionally, figures like Sita Soren, Tapas Roy, and N Kiran Kumar Reddy have also received tickets.

Strategic Moves

The BJP’s candidate selection reflects strategic considerations in key constituencies. Kerala BJP president K Surendra will contest against incumbent MP Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad. In West Bengal’s Basirhat constituency, the party has nominated Rekha Patra, a victim of the Sadeshkhali incident, to challenge the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Renominations and Replacements

The BJP has opted for renominations and replacements in various constituencies. Union Minister Giriraj Singh will seek re-election from Begusarai, while former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will contest from Patna Sahib. Additionally, the party has announced candidates for 17 seats in Bihar, including replacements for incumbent MPs.

Varun Gandhi Denial and Other Developments

Varun Gandhi, known for his independent views, has been denied a ticket from Pilibhit. However, his mother, Maneka Gandhi, has been renominated from Sultanpur. Jitin Prasada has been chosen as the candidate from Pilibhit, while Atul Garg replaces V K Singh in Ghaziabad.

Last-minute Additions

The latest list includes leaders who joined the BJP on the same day of the announcement. Notable among them are Naveen Jindal from Kurukshetra, Haryana government minister Ranjit Chautala from Hisar, and Varaprasad Rao from Tirupati.

Inclusion of Popular Figures

Actress Kangana Ranaut, known for her vocal support of the BJP, will contest from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. Meanwhile, veteran actor Arun Govil, famous for portraying Lord Ram in “Ramayan,” will represent the party in the Meerut constituency.

Nomination of Sita Soren and Others

Sita Soren, sister-in-law of former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, has been nominated from Dumka. She recently resigned from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar will contest from Belgaum.

Strategic Moves in West Bengal

In West Bengal, the BJP has nominated former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay for the Tamluk constituency. Dilip Ghosh has been moved from Medinipur to Bardhaman–Durgapur constituency.

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Riya Sen, an experienced editor at Atom News, is passionate about health and politics reporting. Riya Sen commitment to promoting well-being and highlighting political developments adds a valuable dimension to our coverage, ensuring our readers stay informed and engaged in current affairs.