BJP’s fifth list for Lok Sabha polls: Arun Govil, Kangana Ranaut named | Latest News India

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced its fifth list of Lok Sabha contenders for the upcoming general elections, fielding among 111 candidates four Union ministers including Dharmendra Pradhan, actors Kangana Ranaut and Arun Govil, and industrialist and former Congress leader Navin Jindal.

Kangana Ranaut will contest the Lok Sabha election 2024 from Mandi, Ramayan's Ram Arun Govil from Meerut.
Kangana Ranaut will contest the Lok Sabha election 2024 from Mandi, Ramayan’s Ram Arun Govil from Meerut.

The party also made some key exclusions, dropping Varun Gandhi from Pilibhit in UP, minister Ashwani Choubey from Buxar in Bihar, minister of state (MoS) Gen (retd) VK Singh from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and former minister Anant Kumar Hegde from Uttara Kannada in Karnataka.

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The list contained candidates from 17 states, including 18 from Odisha, where the party announced on Friday that it will not ally with the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal, ending weeks of speculation.

Ranaut will contest from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and Govil, who played Lord Ram in the TV series Ramayana, will fight from Meerut in UP. Jindal, who joined the BJP on Sunday evening, will contest from Kurukshetra in Haryana.

With Sunday’s announcement, the party has now declared contenders for 402 constituencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target for the BJP to win at least 370 seats on its own in these Lok Sabha elections and more than 400 for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) it leads.

Among other key names was that of the party’s Kerala unit chief K Surendran, who will contest from Wayanad — the constituency of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. The party has announced only four candidates in the coastal state, including KS Radhakrishnan from Ernakulam.

In Andhra Pradesh, the party fielded D Purandeswari — its first woman president in the state — from Rajahmundry, Kiran Kumar Reddy (a former Congress CM) from Rajampet and Kothapalli Geeta from Araku. Only six candidates have been named from the state.

The fifth list contained 19 women candidates.

For Himachal Pradesh, the party named Rajeev Bhardwaj as the candidate from Kangra and in Maharashtra, it picked three candidates. The seat sharing formula with ally Shiv Sena is still to be worked out, people in the party aware of the matter said, asking not to be named.

Former Union minister Jual Oram will contest from Sundargarh in Odisha, Sangeeta Kumari Deo from Bolangir, Malvika Keshari Deo from Kalahandi, Bijayant Jay Panda (a vice president of the BJP and in-charge of Uttar Pradesh) from Kendrapara, and Sambit Patra (a party spokesperson) from Puri.

In Bihar, where the party is contesting 17 of the 40 seats on its own, it repeated ministers Giriraj Singh from Begusarai, Nityanand Rai from Ujiarpur and RK Singh from Arrah. Former minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will contest from Patna Sahib and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Thakur was given a ticket to contest from Nawada. Mithlesh Tiwari will replace Ashwani Chaubey in Buxar, while spokesperson Rajeev Pratap Rudy was chosen to contest again from his seat in Saran. Former party president Sanjay Jaiswal was assigned to contest from Paschim Champaran.

In Goa, the party fielded Pallavi Srinivas Dempo from South Goa.

In Gujarat, the party announced six candidates and replaced Bhikaji Thakor with Shobhnaben Baraiya in Sabarkantha and Ranjanaben Bhatt with Hemang Joshi in Vadodara. Both Thakor and Bhatt had pulled out of polls citing personal reasons.

Gen (retd) VK Singh too had said earlier on Sunday that he would not contest elections, saying he wanted to “take my energy and time in new directions, where I can serve my country in a different way”.

Among the prominent political turncoats given tickets are Jindal, who switched from the Congress earlier in the day, Ranjit Chautala, who also joined BJP on Sunday, from Hisar; and Sita Soren, the daughter-in-law of former Jharkhand chief minister, Shibu Soren. Sita Soren joined the party last week and will contest from Dumka.

Jagdish Shettar, who had quit the party ahead of the assembly polls in Karnataka last year, was given a ticket to contest from Belgaum.

In West Bengal, the party announced 19 names, including that of former Calcutta high court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay from Tamulk. He joined the BJP earlier this month after resigning as judge, a position in which he often attacked the Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress.

Former West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh has shifted from Medinipur to Durgapur-Barddhaman, Arjun Singh has been fielded from Barrackpore, Debashree Chaudhary from Kolkata Dakshin and Raju Bista has retained his seat from Darjeeling.

The party has fielded Rekha Patra from Basirhat in Bengal. Patra is one of the victims from Sandeshkhali, a hamlet in Bengal where massive protests broke out in February against local Trinamool leaders.

The party announced candidates from seven seats in Rajasthan and one each in Sikkim and Mizoram. Two candidates were announced for elections in Telangana and 13 in Uttar Pradesh, including Maneka Gandhi from Sultanpur, Jitin Prasada (who replaces Varun Gandhi) in Pillibhit, Satish Gautam in Aligarh, and Raghav Lakhanpal from Saharanpur.

The party dropped former minister Santosh Gangwar from Bareilly and Sanghamitra Maurya from Badaun. Gen (retd) VK Singh has been replaced by Atul Garg.

Arun Govil, the Meerut candidate, replaces Rajendra Agarwal who was presiding in the Lok Sabha when the security breach happened in December last year.

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