Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh, while former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has decided to bow out of the election race as his son has been given the party ticket from his seat, as the BJP released its fourth list featuring 97 names after holding a slew of meetings here on Thursday evening.
Lok Sabha seats of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, from where BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and other stalwarts like party chief Rajnath Singh, L K Advani and M M Joshi are expected to contest, were not taken up for discussion.
The next poll committee meeting is scheduled to be on Saturday. In the list announced on Thursday, the BJP declared candidates for seats in Bihar (25), Assam (6), Madhya Pradesh (24), Karnataka (5), Kerala (14), Jharkhand (13), Maharashtra (2), West Bengal (5). Another key change includes S S Ahluwalia being given the ticket from Darjeeling, a seat currently held by Jaswant Singh, who is likely to be accommodated in Rajasthan. The late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam Mahajan has been given the ticket from Mumbai North Central, where she will be pitted against sitting MP Priya Dutt.
The BJP also announced names for five Karnataka seats in which B S Yeddyurappa’ aide Shobha Karandlaje has been given ticket from Udupi. The other names are : G S Basavaraj (Tumkur), Shivalingaiah (Mandya), Prathap Simha (Mysore), M Narayanaswamy (Kolar).
In Bihar, tickets have been given to sitting MP Shahnawaz Hussain from Bhagalpur, Rajya Sabha MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Saran, former Lalu Prasad Yadav aide Ram Kripal Yadav from Pataliputra, Giriraj Singh from Nawada. Former Home Secretary R K Singh has been given the ticket to contest from Arrah, while cricketer-turned politician Kirti Azad has been nominated from Dharbanga.
However, BJP leaders gave indication that Bollywood actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha could lose his ticket as a senior party leader said the decision on the seat has been put on hold to seek Sinha’s views.
The other key names are Narendra Singh Tomar from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Ramtahal Chaudhary from Ranchi and Sudarshan Bhagat from Lohardaga. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Bhagirath Prasad Singh who deserted the Congress in spite of getting a ticket has been given the same from the BJP. In Kerala, the BJP has given tickets to almost all the senior state party office bearers like P C Mohanan Master (Kannur), V K Sajeevan (Vadakara), P R Rasmilnath (Wayanad), C K Padmanabhan (Kozhikode), Adv. Sreeprakash ( Malappuram), K Narayanan (Ponnani), Sobha Surendran (Palakkad) Shajumon Vattekad (Alathur), among others.
From Lakshadweep M P Sayed Mohammaed Koya has been given a ticket.