Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S Yeddyurappa, who had to quit the BJP in the wake of corruption charges and rejoined recently, is among the 52 candidates finalised by the party today for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The second list of candidates covers six states of Karnataka, Odisha, Tripura, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal.
Among other prominent leaders fielded by the party include another former Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda from Bangalore North, party general secretary Ananth Kumar from Bangalore South and journalist-turned-politician Chandan Mitra from Hoogly in West Bengal.
Yeddyurappa will contest from Shimoga in Karnataka, Ananth Kumar told a press conference while announcing the decision taken at the meeting of the party’s Central Election Committee headed by BJP Chief Rajnath Singh, and attended by Narendra Modi, L K Advani and other top leaders.
71-year-old Yeddyurappa had to resign as Chief Minister of the state on August 1, 2011, after a corruption case was lodged against him by the State Lokayukta.
He quit the party in November 2012 and formed his own outfit Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), which contested the last assembly polls against the BJP and played a key role in its defeat.
The veteran Lingayat leader from the state, who wields influence on a considerable vote bank in the state, had led BJP to victory in the 2008 assembly elections thus forming the first BJP government in south India.
The BJP had released a list of 54 candidates in its first list on February 27. The next list would be released on March 13.
BJP also finalised the list of its 57 candidates for Odisha assembly elections. Odisha will have elections for its 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147-member assembly in two phases on April 10 and 17.
In its second list, BJP finalised five candidates in Assam, 20 in Karnataka, three in Kerala, five in Odisha, two in Tripura and 17 in West Bengal.
In its first list, the party had finalised 17 each in Maharashtra and West Bengal, six in Odisha, five in Jammu and Kashmir, three in Himachal Pradesh and two each in Goa, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
With its second list out, BJP has so far finalised a total of 106 candidates so far.
Among those fielded by the party in Karnataka, where candidates in 20 of the 28 seats have been declared, are sitting MP and state party president Prahlad Joshi from Dharwad. 12 sitting MPs have also been fielded, who include Ramesh Katti from Chikkodi, Suresh Angadi from Belgaum, P C Gaddigoudar from Balghat, Ramesh Jigajinagi from Bijapur (SC), Shivkumari C Udasi from Haveri, Ananth Kumar Hegde from Uttara Kannada, G M Siddeswara from Devanagere, Nalin Kumar Katil from Dakshina Kannada, Janardhana Swamy from Chitradurga (SC) and P C Mohan from Bangalore Central.
Former Ministers B.N Bachhegouda and Revu Naik Belamgi have been fielded from Chikkballapur and Gulbarga (SC) seats, while state BJYM president P. Muniraja Gowda is the party candidate from Bangalore Rural.
Among the five candidates finalised in Assam are sitting MPs Bijoya Chakraborty from Gauhati, Ramesh Deka from Mangaldoi and Rajen Gohain from Nowgong, besides state president Sarbananda Sonowal from Lakhimpur and state vice president Kamakhaya Prasad Tasa from Jorhat.
In Odisha, former minister Pradeep Nayak has been fielded from Kalahandi, sitting MLA Pratap Sarangi from Balasore and Subhash Chauhan, co-convener of the security cell, from Bargarh, besides Nepol Raghu Mumu from Mayubhanj (SC) and Shibashankar Ulka from Korapur (ST) seat.
In West Bengal, the party finalised 17 candidates which include film artist Nimu Bhowmick from Raigunj, state vice president Susanta Ranjan Pal from Beharampur, retired commander K D Biswas from Bangaon (SC), retired IPS R K Handa from Barrackpore, state party general secretary Samik Bhattacharya from Basirhat, Madhusudan Bag from Arambagh (SC), state vice president Badsah Alam from Tamluk and Md Alam from Ghatal.
State BJP vice president Prabhakar Tiwari is being fielded from Medinipur, state ST Morcha president Bikash Mudi from Jhargram, district president Jayanta Mondal from Bishnupur (SC) and district secretary Santosh Roy is being fielded from Bardhaman Purba (SC).
State Secretary Deboshree Chowdhury has been fielded from Burdwan-Durgapur seat, popular singer Babul Supriya from Asansol, Kamini Mohan Sarkar from Bolpur (SC) and film artist Joy Banerjee from Birbhum seat.
In Kerala, the party has fielded former Minister O Rajagopal from Thiruvananthapuram seat while state general secretaries K. Surendran and A.N Radhakrishnan will be in fray from Kasaragod and Ernakulum seats.
State BJP President Sudhindra Dasgupta has been fielded from Tripura West and state vice president Parikshit Debbarma from Tripura East (ST) seat.
In its first list, former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, ex-Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, party’s deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde and Yuva Morcha chief Anurag Thakur were among the 54 names finalised for the Lok Sabha polls.
The party nominated two Muslim candidates in Jammu and Kashmir — Gulam Mohammad Mir in Baramulla and Mushtaq Ahmad Malik Nurabadi in Anantnag constituencies. The first list covered eight states and includes six SCs and six STs, four minorities and two women candidates.