The ruling BJP's first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections were announced today. A list of 182 names were announced today.
According to sources, the BJP has finalised 27 of the 42 seats in the state. The deadline to file the nominations is March 25, which means if the party announces the candidates' list after Holi festival, the candidates will have just a day to file their papers.
A week after the Trinamool Congress announced its candidates for all 42 seats in West Bengal, the candidates have hit the ground to campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The decision on tickets for Babul Supriyo from Asansol, former TMC members Soumitra Khan and Anupam Hazara as well as the candidature of SS Ahluwalia from Darjeeling will be taken by the BJP leadership soon.
Here are the Live Updates from Lok Sabha Election campaigning:
Odisha leader Baijayant Jay Panda who joined the BJP early this month and was subsequently appointed the state's national vice-president and spokesperson will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections from his last sitting seat Kendrapara. He vacated his seat and resigned from Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal last year. Mr Panda's name was announced in the BJP's first list of 184 candidates released today.
Mr Panda is a four-time parliamentarian and had retained his Kendrapara seat since 2009 till he quit. In the last two elections, he contested from a BJD ticket. Whether he can pull off a win on a BJP ticket is something to look out for, in the state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has had in an iron grip since 2000. Kendrapara, too, has been a BJD seat since 1998.
Jay Panda, 55, quit the BJD last May after a bitter fall out with his party chief Naveen Patnaik. Since then, he had been seen to gravitate towards the BJP, which has been trying to make in-roads in Odisha.
The owner of a large conglomerate with interests in mining, power and real estate, Jay Panda had been a parliamentarian of the BJD since 2000 and had been among the party's most prominent leaders from Odisha. Jay Panda said he had taken the step after nine months of introspection and widespread consultations with colleagues and the public.
Assembly polls in the state will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
The BJP had won only one of its 21 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 but is hopeful of putting up a much better show there after it emerged as the main challenger to the BJD in the local polls.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest from his current seat of Varanasi, BJP chief Amit Shah will replace party veteran LK Advani in Gujarat's Gandhinagar.
Voting for the Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and continue for over a month till May 19 across seven phases, followed by results on May 23.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest from his sitting constituency Varanasi in the Lok Sabha elections that begin next month, the BJP announced today, as it launched its first list of candidates for the national elections. Unlike the last elections, PM Modi will not be contesting from a second seat this time.
In 2014, PM Modi contested from Varanasi as well as Vadodara in his home state Gujarat. After winning both, he decided to retain the holy city in Uttar Pradesh.
In Varanasi, he won with a huge margin over his rivals Arvind Kejriwal and Congress's Ajay Rai.
The BJP's assessment is that having PM Modi as a candidate shored up its tally in Uttar Pradesh, where it won a staggering 71 of 80 seats in 2014.
There had been speculation that the prime minister may opt for another temple town of Puri, but top party sources had dismissed the rumours and said he is likely to stick with Varanasi.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the most crucial states of the Hindi heartland. With the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in the state and the Congress fielding their trump card Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a general secretary, the state's elections will be one to watch out for. The opposition Congress has already captured the other major states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the last concluded assembly elections.
Varanasi will vote on May 19, in the last round of seven-phase polls that start on April 11. The results will be declared on May 23.
BJP president Amit Shah will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda announced in a press meet called to release the party's first list on Thursday evening.
The party fielded LK Advani from Gandhinagar in the 2014 elections. The veteran leader had defeated his closest rival from the Congress by over four lakh votes back then.
Mr Advani's name did not figure in this list.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest from Varanasi, the same constituency he had won in the 2014 polls. The announcement put to rest speculations about him deciding to stand from Puri, another temple town in Odisha. While Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will fight the elections from Lucknow, the party has decided to field Roadways Minister Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, the headquarters of the RSS.
The BJP has once again decided to pit Union Minister Smriti Irani against Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi. Although Mr Gandhi had defeated the actor-turned-politician by over a lakh votes in 2014, the party believes that she has gathered significant ground support since then.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju will contest the elections from East Arunachal Pradesh.
The BJP's first list contains 184 names of candidates for seats spread across over 20 states. Earlier in the day, the party had released its list of candidates for elections in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. .
Carryover the spirit of Holi to the polling day to colour your finger with the indelible ink, marking your presence in #DeshKaMahaत्यौहार !- ECI #DeshKaMahaTyohar (@ECISVEEP) March 20, 2019
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