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Business News/ Politics / News/  From fielding Rajya Sabha members to testing former CMs: Unpacking BJP's two candidate lists for Lok Sabha 2024 polls
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From fielding Rajya Sabha members to testing former CMs: Unpacking BJP's two candidate lists for Lok Sabha 2024 polls

The BJP released its first list of 195 candidates on March 2. Two candidates had dropped out. With 72 more names released on March 13, the BJP has announced candidates for 265 Lok Sabha seats so far

PM Modi said he looks forward to serving the people of Kashi for the third time (Saikat Paul)Premium
PM Modi said he looks forward to serving the people of Kashi for the third time (Saikat Paul)

On March 13, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its second list of 72 candidates from 11 states and union territories. The first list, comprising 195 candidates, was released on March 2.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 34 Union Ministers featured in the first list. However, at least 33 members of parliament (MPs) were dropped. Prominent names in the second list include nine Union Ministers, including Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Anurag Thakur and Prahlad Joshi. As many as 31 MPs were replaced by fresh names in the second list. 

The BJP released its first list of 195 candidates on March 2. Two candidates - Pawan Singh from Asansol (West Bengal) and Upendra Singh Rawat from Barabanki (UP) had dropped out after making it to the first list. With 72 more names released on Wednesday, the BJP has announced candidates for 265 Lok Sabha seats so far.

With the second list, the BJP has announced candidates for all seats in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

No Rajya Sabha Route

In the second list, the BJP has fielded Union Commerce minister Piyush Goyal from Mumbai North seat in Maharashtra. Goyal, a Rajya Sabha member, will debut in the Lok Sabha 2024 polls. Born and brought up in Mumbai, Goyal has been a three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the state.

Also Read: BJP candidate list 2024: Rajya Sabha route? Not any more for these 7 Union ministers. Details here

Goyal joins his cabinet colleagues and Rajya Sabha members, Mansukh Mandaviya, Sarbananda Sonowal, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Bhupender Yadav, Purshotam Rupala and V Muraleedharan who will test the waters this time in the Lok Sabha elections.

As per the norms, a Union Minister has to be a member of either house of Parliament—Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. If a person who is not a member of either house is appointed a minister, he/she shall cease to be a minister after six months unless he/she is elected to either of the two houses.

The BJP has also fielded Anil Baluni to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Garhwal, Uttarakhand. Baluni has been the party’s media cell head and has been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2018.

Testing former CMs

The saffron party continues to test its former CMs in the Lok Sabha elections and has fielded former Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar from Karnal, former Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai from Haveri, and former Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat from Haridwar in the second list, on Wednesday. A day before, Khattar was replaced by another OBC face, Nayab Singh Saini, as Chief Minister of Haryana.

Former Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former Tripura CM, Biplab Deb, and former Assam CM, Sarbananda Sonowal, made it to the first Lok Sabha candidate list of the BJP released on March 2.

Dropping MPs

Of the 267 candidates who have featured in the first two lists, at least 63 members of parliament (MPs) have been replaced by new faces. 

As many as 33 MPs, including Pragya Thakur, Ramesh Bidhuri and Meenakshi Lekhi, were replaced by new faces in the first list. Another 30 MPs, including Union minister Darshana Jardosh and former ministers Sadananda Gowda and Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, have been dropped.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Polls 2024: 65 MPs dropped in BJP’s two candidate lists. Details Here

All but one MP from Delhi has been replaced. Ten MPs in Gujarat (both lists), nine in Karnataka, and six in Maharashtra have also been dropped. Cricketer-turned-politician, Gautam Gambhir had requested the top BJP leadership to not field him again from East Delhi seat in the national capital.  Gambhir had won the seat in 2019.

According to sources, fielding fresh faces and former Chief Ministers is aimed at keeping anti-incumbency at bay.  The BJP leadership knows that fresh faces and former CMs will put their best foot forward to prove themselves, they said. 

“Remember, in the MP election, the BJP fielded Union Ministers who obviously would not leave any stone unturned to make the party win. The CMs who were changed in their respective states have been given a chance to prove their mettle," said a BJP leader who did not want to be named.

In the family

In Maharashtra’s Beed constituency,  the BJP has replaced Pritam Munde with her sister, Pankaja Munde, a former MLA in the state. Both are daughters of former Union Minister and BJP leader late Gopinath Munde

Similarly, in Karnataka’s Davanagere seat, the BJP has replaced veteran party leader GM Siddeshwara, who has been representing the constituency since 2004, with his wife, Gayathri Siddeshwara. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP is seeking a third term at the Centre and has set a target of winning 370 seats on its own and 400 for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming Lok Sabha 2024 polls. The Election Commission is expected to announce the poll schedule one of these days.

The 2019 Lok Sabha election was held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. BJP secured a landslide victory in the results declared on May 23, 2019, bagging 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

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Published: 14 Mar 2024, 09:53 AM IST
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