Staff Correspondent

Several holy men mounted pressure on the party

DEHRA DUN: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday declared Maha Mandaleshwar Swami Yatindranand Giri of Juna Akhara as its candidate for the Lok Sabha seat from the holy town of Hardwar in Uttarakhand.

Making the announcement, BJP State general secretary Ajay Bhatt said there was no confusion and the entire party would work for Mr. Giri’s victory. Several holy men had mounted pressure on the BJP to declare the name of a holy man for the Hardwar seat replacing State Education Minister Madan Kaushik who was declared the party’s candidate earlier.

Mr. Giri was preferred over the other aspirant, former Union Minister Swami Chinmayanand, as he (Mr. Giri) is a local person, BJP sources said.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s coalition partner Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, which has been threatening to withdraw support to the Government here after being jilted by the ruling party , has now decided to field candidates for all five seats from Uttarakhand.

“We will contest all the seats. As far as withdrawal of support is concerned, the party will decide at the right time,” UKD president Narain Singh Jantwal told The Hindu.