NEW DELHI: The BJP on Monday announced candidates for the by-elections to the Lok Sabha seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh and Araria in Bihar, scheduled to be held on March 11.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Varanasi's former mayor Kaushlendra Singh Patel in Phulpur while Upendra Shukla would contest from Gorakhpur.
Former MP Pradip Kumar Singh will be the candidate in Araria.
In Phulpur, which fell vacant after Keshav Prasad Maurya was appointed Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Patel will take on Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Singh Patel, a fellow OBC.
Patel was the mayor of Varanasi from 2006 to 2012. The seat was once held by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The BJP has named old party hand Shukla for the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat, which is prestigious for the party as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath represented it for five consecutive terms.
Before this, his 'guru' and head of the Gorakhspeeth, Late Mahant Avaidyanath was the MP from 1989 to 1998.
For the two seats of Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party and Congress have already announced their candidates.
The SP, which is contesting the Gorakhpur by-election in alliance with Peace Party and Nishad Party, has fielded Praveen Kumar Nishad as their candidate. He is the son of Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad.
The Congress has announced Manish Mishra as its candidate from Phulpur, while Surhita Chatterjee Karim will contest from Gorakhpur.
In Bihar's Araria, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has fielded Sarfaraz Alam, son of the late MP Mohammad Taslimuddin, for the seat, which fell vacant after Taslimuddin's death in September 2017.
The last date for filing nominations for all three Parliamentary seats is February 20 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is February 23.