Rajnath figures among BJP’s Lok Sabha candidatesNovember 11th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) National President of the Bharatiya Janata Party Rajnath Singh is among the 11 candidates from Uttar Pradesh whose names the party released Tuesday evening to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.Rajnath Singh will contest from the Ghaziabad constituency, bordering New Delhi.
National vice-presidents Kalyan Singh, a sitting parliamentarian, and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are the candidates for the Etah and Rampur seats, respectively. Kalyan Singh is at present a Lok Sabha member from Bulandshahr.
The list includes former union ministers Murli Manohar Joshi, who will contest from Varanasi, and Maneka Gandhi from Anwala. Her son Varun would contest from Pilibhit.
Maneka Gandhi is the sitting Lok Sabha members from Pilibhit but has been moved to another constituency to accommodate her son.
The other sitting parliamentarians who figure in the list are Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur, Santosh Gangwar (Bareilly) and Pankaj Chaudhary from Maharajganj.
Ashok Pradhan and Bhanu Pratap Verma have been declared candidates from Bulandshahr and Jalaun seats, respectively. Both are reserved for Scheduled Castes.
National party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, who released the list, parried questions about why the party is unable to make up its mind for the Lucknow seat represented by former prime minister and senior leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Vajpayee had not been keeping well and is away from active politics. The BJP has announced senior leader L.K. Advani as its prime ministerial candidate.
Javadekar only said: “It’s a process… Lucknow will also be declared in subsequent lists. UP is a big state and the list will be out in phases.”
When asked if the party was in two minds about Lucknow, he said: “Not at all.”
Asked why the Lok Sabha candidates list was being declared now when the elections may not happen before April next year, another party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told IANS: “The party had decided to announce candidates early in order to provide them ample time to prepare for the Lok Sabha polls.”
“If the state assembly elections were not being held now, the list would have been announced earlier,” he said, and reminded that the BJP had already declared three candidates. This was the second list of candidates, Rudy said.