BJP releases 8th list of candidates for LS polls

The Bharatiya Janata Party today released its 8th list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In the list, BJP has announced names of 11 candidates for Odisha, Punjab and West Bengal seats.

The saffron party announced six candidates from Punjab, its first for state. Of the six include three turncoats – Preneet Kaur, Sushil Kumar Rinku and Ravneet Singh Bittu. Shushil Kumar Rinku has been nominated from Jalandhar, while Preneet Kaur has been nominated from Patiala. Ravneet Singh Bittu will fight from Ludhiana.

The saffron party has announced former Indian ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat and Hans Raj Hans from Faridkot. Besides, the saffron party also fielded singer and MP from North West Delhi Hans Raj Hans from Faridkot

Notably, Sushil Kumar Rinku and diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu joined the party in the last few days. Rinku is an SC and was the lone AAP MP and also its nominee for the coming Lok Sabha polls. Preneet Kaur, wife of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, officially joined the party earlier this month.

Kaur was suspended by the Congress in February last year soon after her husband, former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, joined the BJP. Kaur will be facing AAP candidate Dr Balbir Singh from Patiala seat. The Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal are yet to announce their candidates from Patiala.

Meanwhile, BJP has dropped Sunny Deol and instead has opted former MLA Dinesh Singh Babbu from Gurdaspur. Actor Sunny Deol has been facing criticism for his “absence” from the constituency.

From Odisha, BJP announced B Mahtab from Cuttack, Dr Rabindra Narayan Behera from Jajpur, and Sukanta Kumar Panigrahi from Kandhamal. The saffron party had earlier announced the names of candidates for the rest of 18 seats in the state.

The party has also announced names of two candidates for West Bengal’s Jhargram and Birbhum seats where it has fielded Dr Pranat Tudu and IPS officer Debashish Dhar respectively.

Earlier today, BJP announced a 27-member committee, which included several Union ministers and chief ministers, headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to prepare its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be its convener and Union minister Piyush Goyal co-convener.

Several other Union ministers, the chief ministers of states such as Gujarat, Assam and Madhya Pradesh, and seasoned hands like Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje are among the members of the committee.

Rajnath Singh, a former party president, was the head of the BJP’s manifesto committee for the 2019 polls as well. Many members have been repeated in the current panel as well.

Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Bhupender Yadav, Kiren Rijiju, Arjun Munda, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Smriti Irani and Rajeev Chandrasekhar are among its members.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chhattisgarh’s Vishnu Deo Sai and Madhya Pradesh’s Mohan Yadav are also in the committee.

William Murphy

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