Lok Sabha Election

Modi to contest from Varanasi again, Amit Shah replaces L.K. Advani in Gandhinagar

The BJP on Thursday released its first list of 184 candidates for 20 States for the Lok Sabha election, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi slated to fight from Varanasi and party president Amit Shah also throwing his hat in the ring from Gandhinagar, represented six times by former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani.

The party retained most sitting MPs, the biggest drop in Uttar Pradesh with six candidates replaced in a list of 28. In all, 24 sitting MPs have been dropped.

Union Minister for Health J.P. Nadda released the list in the evening, but refused to comment on Mr. Advani being replaced by Mr. Shah in Gandhinagar.

Union Minister and BJP leader J.P. Nadda shows the first list of candidates at the party office in New Delhi on March 21, 2019.

Union Minister and BJP leader J.P. Nadda shows the first list of candidates at the party office in New Delhi on March 21, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI


Sources in the party, however, said the decision on contesting was left to Mr. Advani, as was the case with former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi. This was discussed at the parliamentary board of the party two weeks ago.

As for Mr. Shah, senior leaders said the party needed a heavyweight replacement for Mr. Advani, and with Mr. Modi not contesting from Gujarat, Mr. Shah was the natural choice. It is also a sign of Mr. Shah’s undisputed pre-eminence in the BJP and its affairs both in Gujarat and nationally.

Rajnath from Lucknow

In the electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP faces a formidable alliance of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the first list saw 28 names announced including that of Mr. Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani from Amethi (to take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi).

The party dropped six sitting MPs. These include Union Minister Krishna Raj from Shahjahanpur. She has been replaced by Arun Sagar from Sambhal. Satyapal Saini has been replaced by Parmeshwar Lal Saini, Anju Bala replaced by Ashok Rawat in Misrikh, Jai Prakash Rawat replaces Anshul Verma in Hardoi and the Agra and Fatehpur Sikri MPs replaced by S.P. Singh Baghel and Rajkumar Singh respectively.

  • Click here for the for the full list of 184 candidates.

Significantly, the candidature of Kanpur MP Dr. Joshi; Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who represents Pilibhit and her son Varun Gandhi representing Sultanpur were not announced. Mr. Nadda said all 17 candidates from Bihar had been finalised and the list sent to the State unit for endorsement. It would be announced at an National Democratic Alliance event.

The BJP announced 21 out of 28 candidates for Karnataka, retaining 16 MPs.New entrant A Manju from the Congress now got the ticket from Hassan to take on Prajwal Revanna, grandson of former Prime Minister Deve Gowda. Interestingly, no candidate has been announced for Bengaluru South, although Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, wife of the late Union Minister Ananth Kumar was widely tipped as its candidate.

Tamil Nadu and Kerala

In Tamil Nadu, the BJP’s lone MP, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan has been repeated from Kanyakumari and State unit chief Tamilsai Soundarrajan from Thoothukudi will face DMK's Kanimozhi.

In Kerala, the party firmed up an alliance with the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena Party (BDJS) on Wednesday, giving it five seats, and the Kerala Congress (Thomas) one seat. The list saw BJP announce 13 out of its 14 seats in the fray (the exception being Pathanamthitta), with Union Minister K J Alphons to fight from Ernakulam and former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajashekharan to fight Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram.

West Bengal and Odisha

The BJP wants to make serious inroads into Odisha and West Bengal and announced 28 out of the 42 seats it will fight in the former and 10 out of 21 seats in the latter. In Bengal, many who have switched sides from the Trinamool Congress, the Congress and the CPI(M) have found a spot in the list, including Arjun Singh, who will take on former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi from Barackpore. The party did not announce any candidate for its sitting seat of Darjeeling as the views of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) weigh heavily in that.

The BJP did not announce a candidate for the Puri seat in Odisha, with a speculation that it may be Prime Minister Modi’s second seat in the polls. But, as widely expected, former BJD MP and BJP’s newest vice president Baijayant Panda will contest from Kendrapara, while bureaucrat-turned- politician Aparajita Sarangi is their Bhubaneswar candidate. BJD’s Nabrangpur Balabhadra Majhi who left the party is BJP’s candidate form the same seat.

The BJP is fielding two of its former MLA candidates, Pratap Sarangi and Brughu Baxipatra from Balasore and Berhampur respectively. Union Minister Jual Oram, the party’ only MP to scrape through in 2014, will contest again. As will Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo, who lost the Bolangir seat to her brother-in-law Kalikesh Singh Deo (BJD’s candidate for 2019 again).


The party accommodated new entrant Sujay Vikhe Patil in the Ahmadnagar seat and replaced sitting MP from Latur, Sunil Gaikwadwith Sudhakar Bahlerao Shrungare. The party will fight 25 seats in the State and has declared 16 seats. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has been repeated from his old seat of Nagpur.

Assam and Northeast

Party chief Amit Shah made an unprecedented move of giving an explanation for the exclusion of Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from the list, when he was widely tipped to fight from Tezpur. Mr Shah said Mr Sarma was needed in his role as convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and the party’s growth in that area.

The list from Assam saw three MPs dropped: Bijoya Chakraborty in Gauhati is replaced by Queen Ojha, Dilip Saikia replacing Ramen Deka in Mangaldoi and Tapan Gogoi replacing Kamakhya Prasad Tassa in Jorhat.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 2:58:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/narendra-modi-gets-varanasi-again-amit-shah-replaces-lk-advani-in-gandhinagar/article26600874.ece

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