BJP names 24 candidates, Uma Bharti among 10 dropped

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday released a list of 24 candidates across seven states for the Lok Sabha elections, denying tickets to 10 sitting MPs including Union Minister Uma Bharti and five-time MP from Ranchi Ram Tahal Choudhary.

The list, finalised by the BJP’s Central Election Committee, has names of eight candidates from Haryana, four each from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, three each from Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand and one each from West Bengal and Odisha.

Uma Bharti, who had announced that she would not contest the Lok Sabha polls, has been replaced in Jhansi by Anurag Sharma, the owner of Baidyanath Group.

In Uttar Pradesh, the party has also dropped Banda MP Bhairon Prasad Mishra and replaced him by R.K. Patel, while Nilam Sonkar has retained her Lalganj seat. From Phulpur, the party has fielded Keshri Devi Patel.

Among the eight candidates announced from Haryana, the party has dropped three sitting MPs and retained five.

Ratan Lal Kataria (Ambala), Ramesh Chandra Koushik (Sonipat), Union Minister Rao Indrajeet Singh (Gurgaon), Dharmveer Singh (Bhiwani-Mahendragarh) and Krishna Pal Gurjar (Faridabad) have retained their candidatures.

Ashwini Kumar, the owner of Hindi daily Punjab Kesari, has been dropped as the party candidate from Karnal. He has been replaced by Sanjay Bhatia. Raj Kumar Saini (Kurukshetra) has been replaced by Nayab Singh Saini while Suneeta Duggal has replaced Charanjeet Singh Rori (Sirsa).

In Rajasthan, three sitting MPs have been dropped. Colonel Sona Ram, who defeated former Union Minister Jaswant Singh from Barmer in 2014, has been replaced by Kailash Choudhary.

In place of Haroon Singh (Rajsamand) and Bahadur Singh Koli (Bharatpur), the party has fielded Diya Kumari and Ranjeeta Koli, respectively, while Manoj Rajuriya has retained his Karauli-Dholpur seat.

In Jharkhand, Ram Tahal Choudhary has been replaced by Sanjay Seth. Denying ticket to sitting Kodarma MP Rabindra Kumar Rai, the BJP has fielded Annapurna Devi Yadav.

In Madhya Pradesh, the Gwalior seat represented by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has gone to Vivek Shejwalkar. Tomar has been shifted to Morena. In Chindwara, the party has pitted Natthan Shah against Nakul Nath, son of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. In Dewas, the BJP has fielded Mahendra Solanki as its candidate.

For the Chindwara Assembly seat, the BJP has fielded Vivek Sah against Kamal Nath. Under electoral laws, it is mandatory for Kamal Nath to become an MLA within six months of assuming office to continue as the Chief Minister.

In West Bengal’s Purulia parliamentary constituency, the BJP has fielded Jyotirmoy Mahato, while the Jagatsinghpur seat in Odisha has gone to Bibhuti Prasad Tarai.