The BJP on Thursday released its first list of 54 candidates, including the former president, Nitin Gadkari, for the Lok Sabha elections.

The list, released after a meeting of the Central Election Committee, covers Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Goa. The party is yet to finalise the names for the crucial States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

In Maharashtra, the BJP has fielded Mr. Gadkari from Nagpur, the former MP, Kirit Somaiya, from Mumbai North East and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde from Beed.

The former Chief Minister, Shanta Kumar, is the candidate for Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, while Anurag Thakur and Virendra Kashyap will seek re-election from Hamirpur and Shimla.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the former MPs, Kiren Rijijuji and Tapir Gao, have been nominated. In Goa, sitting MP Shripad Yesso Naik has been fielded, alongside the party’s State general secretary, Narendra Keshav Sawaikar,

In West Bengal, the candidates include magician P.C. Sarkar Junior from Barasarat, Hemchandra Burman from Cooch Behar, and the former IPS officer, Sujit Kumar, from Murshidabad. The former MPs and Union Ministers, Satyabrata Mukherjee and Tapan Sikdar, will seek election from Krishnanagar and Dum Dum, and State party president Rahul Sinha from Kolkata Uttar.

In Odisha, the party has announced six candidates. They include the former Minister, Jual Oram, (Sundargar) and the former MPs, Rudra Narayan Pani (Dhenkanal) and Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo (Bolangir).

The party announced five candidates for Jammu & Kashmir.

Senior leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, party president Rajnath Singh, the prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj attended the meeting.


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