The BJP is likely to release its first list of candidates this evening for next month's national elections, sources have told NDTV. Around 250 names are expected to be announced; among them 35 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, all 17 seats the party is contesting in Bihar, 21 in Maharashtra and five in Chhattisgarh.
Names are also likely to be announced for Odisha, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Tripura, Telengana, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to contest from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the parliamentary seat he retained after winning two seats in the 2014 election.
There has been speculation that in the April-May national election, the Prime Minister may opt for another temple town, Puri, but top party sources say he is likely to stick with Varanasi.
The list comes a day after the BJP's central election panel met for a third time to finalise names for the Lok Sabha elections.
The party is set to drop a number of its lawmakers from Uttar Pradesh to take on the formidable Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav alliance. But the BJP is likely to go with its lawmakers in Bihar. In Odisha, former BJD lawmakers who switched sides could be candidates, say sources.
In its meeting last evening, the BJP's central election panel had reportedly finalised names for 27 of the 42 constituencies in West Bengal, where it emerged as a key opposition party after the panchayat polls last year.
The Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases beginning April 11; votes will be counted on May 23.
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