Lok Sabha election 2024 | Gadkari, Piyush, Anurag in fray in BJP second list

BJP releases second list of 72 candidates covering 10 States and one union territory for Lok Sabha polls; Mysuru Maharaja replaces sitting MP Pratap Simha

March 13, 2024 08:08 pm | Updated March 14, 2024 07:33 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with BJP leader J. P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries at the BJP Central Election Committee meeting, at party headquarters in New Delhi on March 11, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with BJP leader J. P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries at the BJP Central Election Committee meeting, at party headquarters in New Delhi on March 11, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

The BJP on Wednesday released its second list of candidates for the coming Lok Sabha polls, featuring Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari contesting from Nagpur, Anurag Thakur from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, Pralhad Joshi from Dharwad and Piyush Goyal, who is also the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, from Mumbai North.

The list of 72 candidates covered 10 States and one union territory, with all seats now declared for Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tripura and Uttarakhand. The list appeared a mixed bag with some expected faces making it, with significant drops as well.

Around 29 MPs have been replaced, whereas in the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, a piquant situation has been created with regard to BJP candidate Kalaben Delkar.  Ms. Kelkar is the sitting MP from the seat, having won in a bypoll in 2021 necessitated by the death, in a Mumbai hotel, of her husband Mohan Delkar but she had been fielded in that bypoll by the Shiv Sena. The case relating to the death of Mohan Delkar was being probed by the Mumbai Police on the basis of a note left by him, with a case registered against BJP district leader Praful Patel (later Lt. Governor of Lakshadweep).  

Click here to see the full list

In Karnataka, the BJP declared candidates for 20 out 28 Lok Sabha seats, and replaced nine sitting candidates, including Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, who has been replaced by the scion of the Mysuru royal family, Yaduveera Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar. Also replaced is former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, with his Bangalore North seat going to Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje who has shifted from Udupi-Chikmagalur. Another former Chief Minister B.S. Bommai, however, found favour and the candidature from Haveri seat. Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Tejaswi Surya has been repeated from Bangalore South, however, former State BJP chief Nalin Kateel has been dropped in favour of Brijesh Chowta, a former defence personnel.

However, the announcement of the list of candidates has also posed the risk of rebellion as the party has denied ticket to Kanthest, son of its veteran leader and OBC face K.S. Eshwarappa, who was keen to make a poll debut from Haveri. The party has fielded Mr. Bommai from here. Mr. Eshwarappa’s supporters have called for a meeting on Friday to decide the next course of action.

Keen contest

An interesting contest is brewing in Bangalore Rural with renowned cardiologist C.N. Manjunath, who also happens to be the son-in-law of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, getting the BJP ticket to contest against sitting MP D.K. Suresh, brother of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar. Sources in the BJP say that the list from Karnataka bears the stamp of party president B.Y. Vijayendra.  

In Maharashtra,  the BJP’s list of 20 candidates, which was the most eagerly anticipated given the seat-sharing turmoil within the Mahayuti, saw at least two notable changes: former Minister Pankaja Munde, whose relations with the BJP top brass have been frigid for a while, was announced as the candidate for the Beed Lok Sabha seat in lieu of her sister, sitting MP Pritam Munde and Union Minister Goyal from Mumbai North, with the replacement of Gopal Shetty.

The party also dropped its Mumbai North East MP Manoj Kotak and has fielded Mihir Kotecha in his stead.

In Vidarbha and Marathwada, the party has continued to stick with its warhorses, fielding four-term MP Sanjay Dhotre from Akola and two-term MP Ramdas Tadas from Wardha.

The party retained sitting MPs Sujay Vikhe-Patil (Ahmednagar), Ranjitsingh Naik-Nimbalkar (Madha in Solapur), Sanjaykaka Patil (Sangli), Prataprao Chikhlikar (Nanded) and Raksha Khadse (Raver in Jalgaon), who is the daughter-in-law of ex-BJP leader Eknath Khadse, now in Sharad Pawar’s NCP camp. However, the musical chairs for the Jalgaon Lok Sabha seat continued with the party dropping sitting MP Unmesh Patil in favour of Smita Wagh.

Replacing the sitting MPs in the East and NorthWest Delhi, Gautam Gambhir and Hans Raj Hans respectively, the BJP in its second candidate list for the upcoming polls has announced Delhi BJP general secretary and former East MCD Mayor Harsh Malhotra from East Delhi and BJP General Secretary and former North MCD Mayor Yogendra Chandolia from North West. Meanwhile, the Congress-AAP alliance has fielded AAP leader Kuldeep Kumar from East Delhi. The Congress is yet to announce any candidate from North West Delhi.

Sitting MPs dropped

In Gujarat, the party has dropped sitting MPs from Surat, Valsad, Sabarkantha, Bhavnagar and Chhota Udepur. From Surat, the party has dropped Union Minister Darshanaben Jardosh and fielded Mukesh Dalal, a new face. Interestingly, the party has repeated Hasmukh Patel from Ahmedabad East and Ranjanaben Bhatt from Vadodara.

In Uttarakhand too, the BJP fielded two new candidates, former Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat replaced another former Chief Minister and former Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in Haridwar and in Garhwal, BJP’s media cell chief Anil Baluni also replaced a former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat.

In Himachal Pradesh, both Mr. Thakur and Suresh Kumar Kashyap are sitting MPs from Hamirpur and Shimla (SC) respectively.

The BJP announced its candidates for Haryana in which two MPs have been dropped. Former Chief Minister Manohar Lal has been declared the candidate from Karnal in place of Sanjay Bhatia. Also, from Sirsa constituency, Ashok Tanwar has been given the party ticket instead of Sunita Duggal, the present MP. The BJP has retained its current MPs and Union Ministers from Faridabad and Gurugram seats — Rao Inderjit (Gurugram) and Krishan Pal (Faridabad).

Former MP (the late) Ratan Lal Kataria’s wife Banto Kataria has been declared BJP candidate from Ambala. From Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, the party has given ticket to present MP Dharambir.

In Telangana, the BJP continues to hedge its bets on newcomers, with turncoats, mostly those from the BRS, getting tickets in the second list.

If former BRS MPs A. Seetaram Naik and G. Nagesh got the party nod for the seats of Mahabubabad and Adilabad respectively, former BRS MLA S. Saidi Reddy will be contesting from Nalgonda. It means sitting BJP Adilabad MP Soyam Bapu Rao has been dropped as was widely speculated. Former Congress leader G. Srinivas got the ticket to contest from Peddapalli. Incidentally, all these leaders joined the saffron party just a few days ago in New Delhi and have been rewarded with tickets.

Party vice-president D.K. Aruna seems to have managed to ward off the challenge from another former MP A.P. Jithender Reddy to get nominated for the Mahabubnagar Parliament constituency, while former MLA M. Raghunandan Rao got the Medak ticket for which he has been lobbying hard. Even these two leaders are recent entrants having moved from the Congress and the BRS, respectively.

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