Lok Sabha elections | Kangana Ranaut, Arun Govil, Maneka Gandhi in BJP fifth list; Varun Gandhi dropped

BJP fields Kerala party chief K. Surendran against Congress’ Rahul Gandhi; no candidate for Rae Bareli yet; former Army chief V.K. Singh recuses himself minutes before list announced; Dharmendra Pradhan returns to direct elections after 15 years; in WB, BJP fields recently retired judge and Sandeshkhali villager

March 24, 2024 10:14 pm | Updated April 02, 2024 12:12 pm IST - New Delhi

BJP has fielded actors Kangana Ranaut from Mandi LS constituency while Ramayana fame Arun Govil has got the ticket from Meerut constituency. | Photo Credit: The Hindu/PTI

BJP has fielded actors Kangana Ranaut from Mandi LS constituency while Ramayana fame Arun Govil has got the ticket from Meerut constituency. | Photo Credit: The Hindu/PTI

Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut and television actor Arun Govil, who starred in the Ramayan series, are among the names in the BJP’s fifth list of 111 candidates from 17 States for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, released on Sunday. Ms. Ranaut will contest from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, while Mr. Govil will contest from Meerut.

Former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi is being fielded from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, but her son Varun Gandhi is being dropped from Pilibhit, to be replaced by U.P. Minister Jitin Prasada. Controversial MP from Uttara Kannada, Ananth Kumar Hegde, was also dropped, and is being replaced by former Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri. In Kerala, the BJP has fielded its State unit chief K. Surendran against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad.

Also read | Lok Sabha elections 2024 LIVE updates - March 27

In all, the BJP has declared 400 seats in five lists so far.

V.K. Singh dropped in U.P.

The fifth list saw some other prominent additions and drops, including former Army chief and Union Minister General V.K. Singh from Ghaziabad; just minutes before the list was announced, he recused himself from consideration, perhaps anticipating it. He has been replaced by local MLA Atul Garg.

Also Read: 2024 General elections | These are the Lok Sabha constituencies, Assemblies going to polls in Phase 1

The dropping of Mr. Varun Gandhi, who may yet contest as an Independent, is a big development as he and the BJP’s high command have not seen eye to eye on many issues for a long time. No candidate has yet been announced for the Rae Bareli. Interestingly, the BJP has fielded Rajrani Rawat, in place of current MP Upendra Rawat who withdrew after some objectionable videos surfaced, allegedly showing him.

The BJP also dropped three sitting MPs from the 17 seats it is to fight in Bihar. In Buxar, Mithilesh Tiwari will replace Ashwani Choubey; in Muzzaffarpur, Raj Bhushan Nishad will replace Ajay Nishad; and in Sasaram, Shivesh Ram will replace sitting MP Chedi Paswan. All other sitting MPs in the State, including former Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Patnasahib, have been retained. The BJP got a fresh seat of Nawada in the seat adjustment from the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), and has fielded Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Thakur, son of former Union Minister C.P. Thakur, from that seat.

Also Read: Lok Sabha elections 2024: “Happy to be BJP candidate” : Maneka Gandhi

Pradhan’s return in Odisha

In Odisha, the signs of the BJP-Biju Janata Dal (BJD) alliance negotiations collapsing was very evident in the list, which named candidates for 18 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats in the State.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been fielded from the western Odisha constituency of Sambalpur, marking his return to direct elections in the State after a gap of 15 years. But the fielding of Baijayant Panda, national vice president of the BJP, who had earlier won the Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat as a Biju Janata Dal candidate, is significant as he and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik have been at odds. Mr. Panda had lost the Kendrapara seat in 2019.

National spokespersons Aparajita Sarangi and Sambit Patra have been renominated by the party for the Bhubaneswar and Puri Lok Sabha constituencies respectively. The BJP has dropped four sitting MPs in Odisha, including Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu from the Mayurbhanj constituency.

Also Read: Will win Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat by a huge margin, says Biren Singh

Switched loyalties in Haryana

In Haryana, hours after the two-time Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal and Independent Rania MLA Ranjit Singh Chautala, who is also a State Cabinet Minister, joined the BJP, the two figured in the party’s list for Lok Sabha candidates, bagging the tickets for Kurukshetra and Hisar respectively.

While the BJP’s incumbent Kurukshetra MP Nayab Sain took over as the party’s new Chief Minister earlier this month, the party’s Hisar Lok Sabha MP Brijendra Singh quit the BJP to join the Congress a few days ago.

The BJP retained its Rohtak Lok Sabha MP Arvind Kumar Sharma, who had defeated the Congress’ Deepender Hooda in a close contest, but has replaced its Sonipat MP Ramesh Chander Kaushik to instead field Rai MLA Mohan Singh Badoli, who had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in 1989 and later joined the BJP.

Also Read: Industrialist and former Congress MP Naveen Jindal joins BJP

WB newcomers: judge and villager

In West Bengal, the BJP announced names for 19 seats, meaning that candidates have now been named for 38 out of the 42 seats from the State. Significant names include former Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay from Tamluk, Arjun Singh from Barrackpore, and Tapas Roy from Kolkata Uttar. While Justice Gangopadhyay recently resigned as a judge of the Calcutta High Court, Mr. Roy and Mr. Singh had recently quit the Trinamool Congress to join the BJP.

Another debutant is Rekha Patra, a Sandeshkhali villager who was the first to lodge a complaint against Trinamool leaders there and is now being fielded as the BJP’s candidate from Basirhat.

The BJP has changed the seats of Dilip Ghosh and Debasree Chaudhuri, who were elected from the Medinipur and Raiganj Lok Sabha seats respectively. Mr. Ghosh will now be contesting from Bardhaman Durgapur and Ms. Chaudhuri will contest the Kolkata Dakshin seat. BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul will contest from Medinipur, and will be pitted against June Maliah. The party has fielded Amrita Roy from Krishnanagar against Trinamool Congress nominee Mahua Moitra.

Also Read: Sikkim BJP terms SKM Govt as “corrupt”, rules out a post-poll alliance

BJP fields last CM of united A.P.

The Christian dominated seat of South Goa will see Pallavi Sriniwas Dempo, wife of the owner of the Dempo industrial group Sriniwas Dempo, in the fray.

In Jharkhand, Sita Soren, the daughter-in-law of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha founder Shibu Soren, who recently joined the party, will contest from Dumka, a seat that Mr. Soren used to contest from.

In Andhra Pradesh, the BJP will field Kiran Kumar Reddy, the last CM of the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh, as its candidate from Rajampet, and State party chief D. Purandeswari from Rajahmundry.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.