BJP’s mission UP: Modi heads to Varanasi, Joshi gets Kanpur and Rajnath goes to Lucknow

Narendra Modi could fight poll from Gujarat too; Navjot Sidhu makes way for Arun Jaitley in Amritsar.

New Delhi | Updated: March 16, 2014 1:18 pm

Ending weeks of suspense and feverish speculation, the BJP on Saturday announced that its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would contest the Lok Sabha elections from the temple city of Varanasi, a move it hopes will boost the party’s chances in the critical state of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Bihar.

It was also announced that party president Rajnath Singh will contest from the prestigious Lucknow seat, held by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee until 2009.

“Grateful to the Party for giving me opportunity to contest the election from the holy city of Varanasi! An honour to contest from Varanasi,” Modi tweeted in reaction to the announcement.

“With blessings of Ganga Mata & Kashi Vishwanath, let us work towards success of Mission272+ & create a strong, vibrant & prosperous India,” he added.

The BJP, however, indicated that Modi may also contest from one seat in Gujarat.

“There is every possibility. That will be decided on March 19,” BJP leader Ananth Kumar replied when asked if Modi would contest from Gujarat as well. The party’s central election committee is due to meet on March 19 to consider candidates from Gujarat and Rajasthan, among others.

The announcement of Modi’s name for Varanasi came after weeks of tussle over the choice as veteran leader Murli Manohar Joshi was reluctant to vacate the seat.

Party leaders, however, suggested that his reluctance was more of a subtle expression of displeasure over not being informed about the party’s plans and that it was first speculated in the media. The RSS also played a role and helped defuse tensions and get Joshi on board to contest from Kanpur instead.

But Modi confidante and BJP general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Amit Shah, indicated that it was pressure from workers that got Joshi to vacate his seat. “Janta aur BJP karyakartao ka nirnay atal raha: Modi ji Varanasi hokar Delhi jayenge, Vande Mataram,” Shah tweeted after the announcement.

Besides Modi and Rajnath, the BJP also announced that leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, would contest from Amritsar and actor Kirron Kher from Chandigarh. It also renominated Shatrughan Sinha from Patna Saheb.

The BJP’s fourth list of 93 candidates announced Saturday included 53 from UP and all five from Uttarakhand. While former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh has decided not to contest, all three former chief ministers of Uttarakhand – Bhagat Singh Koshyari (Nainital), BC Khanduri (Pauri) and Ramesh Nishank (Haridwar) – have been fielded.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti will contest from Jhansi and Kalyan Singh’s son Rajbir Singh from Etah. Former UP unit chief Kalraj Mishra, who was eyeing Kanpur, will contest from Deoria in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

While the BJP did not announce candidates from Rae Bareli (represented by Sonia Gandhi) and Amethi (Rahul Gandhi), it declared Maneka Gandhi as its candidate from Pilibhit and her son Varun Gandhi from Sultanpur.

The party also announced Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh’s son Abhishek Singh would contest from Rajnandgaon.

BJP leader in the UP Assembly, Hukum Singh, one of four party MLAs accused of inciting communal riots in Muzaffarnagar last year, has been given the ticket from Kairana.

The party also announced its candidates for all seven seats in Delhi. it has decided to field three MLAs – Harshvardhan (Chandni Chowk), Ramesh Bidhuri (South Delhi) and Pravesh Verma (West Delhi) – ignoring high-profile names such as Subramanian Swamy and journalist MJ Akbar that were doing the rounds.

In an apparent attempt to woo Purvanchali voters, the party has decided to field Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari from North-East Delhi. Newly inducted Dalit leader Udit Raj has got the ticket for North-West Delhi and BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi will contest from New Delhi.

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  1. A
    Achu
    Mar 16, 2014 at 9:16 am
    so you are very clear Arvind Kejri is a creation of Congress and other anti Modi elements. Yes its true we knows that. But the fact is if Modi contest in Varanasi the vote share of BJP will be Con, SP and BJP put together.
    Reply
    1. B
      Bharath
      Mar 17, 2014 at 12:31 am
      You will be taught a lesson soon
      Reply
      1. Y
        your gaze
        Mar 16, 2014 at 7:59 am
        May be NaMo convinced the hearts of UP voter but some communists possibly create chaos among innocent citizens..
        Reply
        1. K
          Kafir
          Mar 16, 2014 at 7:55 am
          Despite knowing the congress rule for the past 56 years, despite knowing the root cause of terrorism, despite knowing the high inflation rate, and many many such issues, some people still support congress!!!. Why?.. To my mind, they are either living in stan or an indian supporting stan or an antinational who is living amongst us. Shame on such people. LOVE BHARATH OR LEAVE BHARATH
          Reply
          1. कौआ
            Mar 16, 2014 at 8:50 am
            what,s bjp and congress ,s potion policy ...paid media not asking this question from bjp congress spokesperson,s ,
            Reply
            1. कौआ
              Mar 16, 2014 at 8:50 am
              what,s bjp and congress ,s potion policy ...paid media not asking this question from bjp congress spokesperson,s .........
              Reply
              1. R
                Ram
                Mar 16, 2014 at 8:49 am
                Fake development of Gujarat, only two caste developed.Grate people of UP will teach lesson to MOdi
                Reply
                1. R
                  Raveendranath MN
                  Mar 16, 2014 at 8:41 am
                  Among all the star contestants, Udit Raj is the prime persona. Kudos to him and good luck.
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Raveendranath MN
                    Mar 16, 2014 at 8:49 am
                    It is your day dream. All Islamic fundamentalists and Sharia proponents want a secular govt in India, but hanker for Sharia-led governments in 25-odd countries where Islam is in majority. If secularism is a creed, prove yourself by calling for secular governments in all Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia.
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      nataraj dabola
                      Mar 16, 2014 at 7:49 am
                      namoo all the way
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        pratap
                        Mar 16, 2014 at 7:14 am
                        great decision
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Ravi
                          Mar 16, 2014 at 8:09 am
                          BJP is a party of FEKU people who only tell lies. BJP people do not have any principle. Jaitley, Modi, Rajnath Singh are DOUBLE STANDARD people who tell against corruption, but they themselves are corrupt, and taking in corrupt criminals like dy, Sriramulu, Alagiri, RamKripal Yadad, Romesh etc to their party. BJP can stoop to any low to attain and cling to power. On the other hand, Arvind sacrificed the CM chair on uncompromising position of corruption. Shame on BJP for becoming so much power-money-hungry!!!...............AAP is cleanest and the best party, which can usher in a corruption free and progressive India. AAP can only break the nexus of criminals-mafias with corrupt crorepati netas of BJP-congress.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Ravi
                            Mar 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm
                            BJP man like Jaitley himself is corrupt, since he supported people like Sri Nivasan in BCCI/IPL. So, he is naturally promoting corrupt people in his party. BJP has become party of power-money-hungry criminals. BJP is so corrupt.. taking most corrupt people like dy, B Sriramulu into the party, and giving them tickets, just to grab power. BJP and Modi are so power and money hungry!!! On the other hand, Arvind K can sacrifice his CM post as per his principle to eradicate corruption, whereas these BJP people are running after power and hungry and can do anything to attain and cling to power. Shame on BJP & Modi....AAP is cleanest party, which can break the nexus of criminals & mafias with corrupt crorepati netas of BJP-congress
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Shafik
                              Mar 16, 2014 at 6:40 am
                              Indian general elections, 2009: VaransiParty Candidate & Votes & % is as follows:-BJP Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi 2,03,122; 30.52 % BSP: Mukhtar Ansari 1,85,911 ; 27.94% Samajwadi Party:- Ajai Rai1,23,874; 18.61% INC Dr. Rajesh Kumar Mishra 66,386; 9.98% AD:- Vijay Prakash Jaiswal :- 65,912; 9.90% Others vote for Independent;Total Turnout 665,490BJP gain from INC Swing.Observing above facts, it seems that if SP & Congress supports Arvind Kejriwal in varanasi; Gujarat's candidate will regret for contesting from varanasi.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Shafik
                                Mar 16, 2014 at 7:11 am
                                Indian general elections, 2009: VaransiParty Candidate & Votes & % is as follows:-BJP Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi 2,03,122; 30.52 % BSP: Mukhtar Ansari 1,85,911 ; 27.94% Samajwadi Party:- Ajai Rai1,23,874; 18.61% INC Dr. Rajesh Kumar Mishra 66,386; 9.98% AD:- Vijay Prakash Jaiswal :- 65,912; 9.90% Others vote for Independent;Total Turnout 665,490BJP gain from INC Swing.Observing above facts, it seems that if SP & Congress supports Arvind Kejriwal in varanasi; Gujarat's candidate will regret for contesting from varanasi.
                                Reply
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