Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fight to retain his Varanasi seat while BJP President Amit Shah will make his debut in Lok Sabha polls from Gandhinagar, BJP leader J.P. Nadda announced on Thursday.
The Gandhinagar seat is currently held by veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani, who has been winning the seat consecutively from 1998.
Among the prominent leaders announced in BJP’s first list, which had 184 names across 20 states, were Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, who will contest again from Lucknow, Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, Gen. V. K. Singh (retd) from Ghaziabad, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Jaipur Rural), Satyapal Singh (Baghpat), and D.V. Sadananda Gowda (Bengaluru North).
All are sitting MPs from these seats.
Union Minister Smriti Irani will again face Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, while film actress-turned politician Hema Malini will contest from her Mathura seat.
Union Minister Babul Supriyo will fight to retain his Asanol seat, where he will face Trinamool Congress’s Moon Moon Sen. The BJP has also fielded Bengali film actress Locket Chatterjee from Hooghly.
BJP’s Kerala strongman Kummanam Rajasekharan, who recently quit as Mizoram Governor, will fight against Congress’s Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvanthapuram, while Union Minister K.J. Alphons will contest from Ernakulam.
The BJP also fielded its Tamil Nadu unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan from Thoothukudi from where DMK’s K. Kanimozhi is contesting.
Nadda, who had announced that Minister of State from Home Kiren Rijiju will contest from Arunanchal East, later corrected himself, saying he would be contesting from Arunachal West.
The BJP also fielded Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, who had quit Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal to join it, from Kendrapara.
Nadda also announced that candidates for all the 17 seats it will contest in Bihar have been cleared by the party’s Central Election Committee and sent to the state election panel.