The BJP Tuesday named former Army chief V K Singh as its candidate for Ghaziabad, the constituency vacated by Rajnath Singh who is contesting Lucknow. The announcement was made by Rajnath Singh through a press statement on the eve of the BJP central election committee meeting in New Delhi Wednesday. He also declared Shibun Lyngdoh as the Shillong candidate.
V K Singh’s candidacy is believed to have figured in talks Rajnath had with L K Advani to discuss selection. V K Singh will be pitted against Raj Babbar of the Congress and Shazia Ilmi of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Rajnath inducted the former Army chief into the BJP on March 1, months after he had shared the dais with Narendra Modi last September. He had addressed an ex-servicemen’s rally in Rewari, which was also Modi’s first public rally after being formally declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. V K Singh, however, had then remained ambivalent on his political affiliations by closing ranks with Anna Hazare.
After he joined the BJP, there was speculation he might contest from his home state, Haryana, but that was put to rest last Saturday when candidates from that state were announced.
During the CEC meeting that day, leaders of the party’s UP unit were assured of a high-profile candidate from Ghaziabad following Rajnath Singh’s shift to Lucknow.
A group of protesters from western Uttar Pradesh descended on the party headquarters in Delhi Tuesday demanding a candidate from the Tyagi community as none had been fielded in the entire region.
Bhopal an option for Gandhinagar’s Advani
NEW DELHI: Amid demands from both the Gujarat and the Madhya Pradesh units to field L K Advani from their states, the BJP’s central election committee is set to decide Wednesday. Party leaders are not ruling out the possibility of fielding him from Bhopal.
The Gujarat poll committee revealed it has proposed Advani for his current seat, Gandhinagar. But former Madhya Pradesh CM Kailash Joshi said he has requested Advani to contest from Bhopal, which he has offered to vacate. Joshi told The Indian Express last week Advani has not rejected his request.
The Gujarat unit has reiterated its demand that Modi contest from his home state as well as from Varanasi. The CEC will Wednesday decide candidates for Gujarat, Rajasthan and the remaining seats in UP and MP. ENS