Uttar Pradesh : BJP drops Varun Gandhi, VK Singh; Maneka, Jitin Prasada get ticket

Uttar Pradesh

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Uttar Pradesh : The new faces in the BJP list included Saket Mishra from Shrawasti, Kripa Shankar Singh from Jaunpur and Ritesh Pandey from Ambedkarnagar

Uttar Pradesh : The BJP on Sunday declared 13 candidates from Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls including actor Arun Govil, who played Lord Ram in popular TV serial ”Ramayan”, from Meerut, while replacing sitting MP Varun Gandhi from Pilibhit with state minister Jitin Prasada.

With this list, the party has now announced its candidates for 63 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Varun Gandhi has recently been vocal against the BJP on several issues, including employment and health. However, his mother Maneka Gandhi has been retained in the list of the candidates, and has been fielded from Sultanpur parliamentary constituency.

The BJP has fielded MLA Atul Garg from Ghaziabad and dropped sitting MP and Union minister Gen V K Singh (retd). Shortly before the list was released, Singh said in a post on X that he would not contest the Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, the party has fielded Ramesh Awasthi from Kanpur Lok Sabha seat, after sitting MP Satyadev Pachauri on Sunday expressed his unwillingness to contest the elections and conveyed the same to its president J P Nadda.

This is the second list of candidates from UP released by the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections, UP BJP co-media in-charge Abhay Pratap Singh said. The party is yet to declare its candidate for the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat. The other candidates fielded by the BJP from Uttar Pradesh are: Raghav Lakhanpal (Saharanpur), Sarvesh Singh (Moradabad), Satish Gautam (Aligarh), Anoop Valmiki (Hathras-SC), Durvijay Singh Shakya (Budaun), Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar (Bareilly), Rajrani Rawat (Barabanki-SC) and Arvind Gond (Bahraich-SC).

Apart from Varun Gandhi, VK Singh and Satyadev Pachauri, the other sitting MPs who have been denied ticket by the party are Santosh Gangwar (Bareilly), Sanghamitra Maurya (Budaun), Upendra Singh Rawat (Barabanki-SC), Rajveer Singh Diler (Hathras-SC), Akshayvar Gaud (Bahraich-SC) and Rajendra Agrawal (Meerut). Raghav Lakhanpal, who has got the ticket, was the Lok Sabha MP from Saharanpur in 2014. However, he lost the 2019 polls to BSP’s Haji Fazlur Rehman who was jointly fielded by the BSP, SP and RLD.

He has also been an MLA from Saharanpur Nagar (created after delimitation) from 2012 to 2014, and from Saharanpur from 2007 to 2012 . Similarly, Sarvesh Singh was the Lok Sabha MP from Moradabad from 2014 to 2019. However, he lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to SP’s ST Hasan (jointly fielded by the BSP, SP and RLD). He has also been a five-time BJP MLA from Thakurdwara assembly constituency in Moradabad from 1991 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2014.

Atul Garg, who was a minister of state in the first government of yogi adityanath, is the sitting MLA from Ghaziabad assembly constituency. He also represented the constituency from 2017 to 2022. Anoop Valmiki, who is currently the minister of state for revenue in UP, has been fielded by the BJP from Hathras (SC). He is the sitting MLA from Khair assembly constituency of Aligarh district, and has also represented it from 2017 to 2022. Satish Gautam is the sitting Lok Sabha MP from Aligarh. He had also represented the Aligarh seat in the Lok Sabha from 2014 to 2019. In Budaun, the party has announced the name of Durvijay Singh Shakya, overlooking its current MP Sanghamitra Maurya, daughter of former minister Swami Prasad Maurya. Shakya is the president of the Braj region of the UP BJP. In Bareilly, the party has replaced sitting MP Santosh Gangwar and given the ticket to Chattrapal Singh Gangwar.

Chhatrapal Gangwar has been the MLA from Baheri assembly constituency of the district from 2017 to 2022. He has also been a former UP minister. He lost the 2022 assembly elections to Ataur Rehman of the SP. Rajrani Rawat, fielded from Barabanki, had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from the seat and lost to BJP’s Priyanka Rawat. After an obscene video allegedly involving him surfaced on social media in March this year, BJP MP Upendra Singh Rawat who was fielded again by the party from Barabanki had said he will not contest any election till proven innocent.

In its first list, the BJP had named 51 candidates from Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections. The notable names in the first list were that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, Hema Malini from Mathura, Ajay Mishra Teni from Kheri, Smriti Irani from Amethi, Lallo Singh from Faizabad (Ayodhya) and Mahendra Nath Pandey from Chandauli, among others.

The new faces in the BJP list included Saket Mishra from Shrawasti, Kripa Shankar Singh from Jaunpur and Ritesh Pandey from Ambedkarnagar. Saket Mishra, who is the sitting MLC, is the son of Nripendra Mishra, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Construction Committee Chairman and former principal secretary to Prime Minister Modi. Kripa Shankar had quit the Congress to join the BJP and Pandey, sitting BSP MP, had recently switched sides.

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