After much deliberation, the incumbent BJP released the first list of their electoral candidates on the day of Holi – listing out 184 candidates for Lok Sabha elections, including PM Modi, Amit Shah and some of the party’s biggest names. The surprise with BJP’s first list of candidates for Lok Sabha 2019 was that there were no surprises in candidacy pattern.
With most of its leaders contesting from Uttar Pradesh like PM Narendra Modi from the Varanasi seat, VK Singh from Ghaziabad, Mahesh Sharma from Gautam Buddha Nagar, Hema Malini from Mathura, Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, Raghav Lakhanpal from Saharanpur, Sanjeev Baliyan from Muzzafarnagar and Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao for the Lok Sabha election 2019 – the party has made it clear that they are confident about UP, and will be playing a safe, well-tested pattern for the crucial election.
Other than the heavyweights of BJP, Smriti Irani too will repeat her candidacy from Amethi to reprise her contest against Congress president Rahul Gandhi – to whom, she had lost in 2014. However, the biggest surprise from the party was dropping away the senior-most stalwart – LK Advani, who has been calling the shots for BJP since decades. The Gandhinagar seat that was represented by Advani since five terms will now be played by BJP president Amit Shah – who will field his first Lok Sabha election from home state.
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After decision of Shah contesting from Gandhinagar, it is unclear if 91-year-old Advani will be granted by electoral ticket or not. The political fate of another senior stalwart of BJP – Murali Manohar Joshi is yet to be decided, and perhaps, the party is abiding to its decision of “not giving tickets to those above 75” for Lok Sabha 2019. BJP is now getting ready to prepare the second list of candidates, which will include remaining leaders like Arun Jaitley and Piyush Goyal.