All eyes now on the Congress putting up a candidate against Modi in Varanasi

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Central Election Committee late on Monday night announced Smriti Irani as the party’s candidate against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. It also pitted Supreme Court lawyer Ajay Aggarwal against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli.

The decision has put an end to speculation on the BJP’s choice of candidates against the Gandhis.

All eyes will now be on the Congress putting up a candidate against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

Uma Bharti, BJP candidate from Jhansi, was speculated to contest against Ms. Gandhi after Baba Ramdev suggested her name, but the party ruled it out.

Sources in the BJP said the party was not keen on fielding Ms. Bharti from two constituencies in the same State and wanted her to focus on Jhansi.

Ms. Irani, who is a Rajya Sabha member, expressed her willingness to contest against Mr. Gandhi. Amethi is considered a Congress bastion.

Other candidates

The BJP’s Central Election Committee also announced the names of Bhairon Prasad Mishra as its candidate from Banda in Uttar Pradesh, A.C. Shanmugam from Vellore and Karuappa M. Muruganantham from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.

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